Toni Morrison is probably the most well known female African American author. Probably because their English teacher made them, just about every person has read one of Morrison’s novels. To all the students who have to read Morrison: you won’t regret it. To all the English teachers making their students read Morrison: keep up the good fight; she’s worth it.
“Beloved” is one of Morrison’s most prominent novel, and has the highest chance of most people having read it. I came into reading “Beloved” mostly blind.
Sex, love and tragedy. Those are the words I would use to sum up “Beloved.” Set after the Civil War, the story follows the life of former slave Sethe, her daughter Denver, and a man that Sethe used to know as a slave, Paul D.
The story is told in two different timetables. One in the present with Sethe, Denver and Paul D, and the other in the past when Paul D and Sethe were slaves together at the Sweet Home plantation.
There are so many things that I want to say about this book and what inspired it and the plot, but I can’t for fear I will give too much away. Suffice to say that I spent about 70 percent of my time reading this book attempting not to smear my mascara and failing miserably.
There are moments in this book that will almost break your soul and will most certainly break your heart.
Morrison paints such vivid emotional pictures that the reader can’t help but get caught up in the story.
I will admit that the first probably 30 pages are pretty slow, but if you can get past that, the novel is completely and totally worth it.
Do not go into reading this story with any illusions of this being about any sort of happiness because the novel will shatter those, but it is a story that begs to be told.
The novel ends with a warning to its reader: “This is not a story to pass on.” On the contrary, I think this is exactly the kind of story we need to pass on.