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February 19, 2016

Looking Back - Beloved


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



Beloved by Toni Morrison
Fiction
1987 Plume
Finished in February 1996
Rating: 5/5 (Outstanding!)
Pulitzer Prize Winner (1988)





Publisher's Blurb:

Sethe. Proud and beautiful, she escaped from slavery but is haunted by its heritage. She must deal with this haunted life on every level, from the fires of the flesh to the heartbreaking challenges to the spirit. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is Toni Morrison's greatest novel, a dazzling achievement, and the most spellbinding reading experience of the decade.

My Original Notes:

Excellent! Very powerful. I read it in less than a week. It started off a little bit confusing. The setting or time period jumped around, as well as the narrator. Once I got in a few chapters, I could understand what was going on a little better. Lots of symbolism. Another story about ghosts. [We had just read The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.] I found the book to be a real eye-opener about the treatment of slaves before and after the Civil War. I'm anxious to read more of Morrison's works!

My Current Thoughts:

Beloved is another novel that my small book group read and discussed back in 1996. I remember how much this book affected me, with Morrison's powerful prose and storytelling, and I can still picture many of the scenes, even after the passage of twenty years. I have read (and attempted to read) other books by Toni Morrison, but after one failed attempt I decided she is an author I no longer wish to read. However, I could be convinced to re-read Beloved, especially for another book club discussion. Highly recommend and believe it should be required reading for all.

Have you read this Pulitzer Prize winner? What is your favorite Morrison book?

6 comments:

  1. This is one of the few books I've given up on. It sounds like I may not have stuck with it long enough.

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    1. Kathy, it took me a while to get interested, but once I did, I was hooked. Maybe give it another try.

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  2. I read The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, as well as Beloved. I remember liking the flow of language better than the stories, but it has been such a long time since I've read them. Maybe they would leave a deeper impression if I read them again.

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    1. Jenclair, I read The Bluest Eye after hearing so many rave reviews for it. I didn't think it was nearly as good as Beloved. I think I tried Song of Solomon and had to quit after making a huge genealogy chart and still not able to keep track of all the characters and their relationships. If it wasn't that book, it was another of Morrison's.

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  3. This is a book I should probably re-read because I don't think I really "got" it when I read it (long ago too). I have read other Morrison books which I did like. Anyway, love to see these posts about looking back at your reads!

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    1. Iliana, it's definitely a book that takes some deep reading. If I had more time, I'd love to read it again.

      I'm so glad you're enjoying these posts. I'm really having fun looking back on my past reads. I plan to post the good and bad, as you'll see this Friday. :)

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