The Train of Small Mercies

By David Rowell
(Blackstone Audiobooks, MP3 CD, 9781455113040)

Publication Date: October 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Compact Disc

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2011 Indie Next List
“Old and young, black and white, nuns and bikers, girls in bikinis and men in military uniforms, all gathered to pay homage to Robert Kennedy as his funeral train passed by. This novel depicts a day in the lives of six characters who are looking for hope in an America overcome by grief. All ask the same question: Who now will stand up for those who need championing? A stunning debut!”
-- Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Conversation Starters from


  1. The novel is a work of fiction based on actual events. What do we as readers gain from the way the novel is structured (state by state)? What is the significance of depicting the lives of those living in the different states during that period of history? Each character in the novel is different from the next—racially, socially, etc. Why does the author include numerous characters of various backgrounds? Do their differences play into the mood of the novel?

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