Friday, March 16, 2007

Book Review: Beloved

Beloved by Toni Morrison

There were many reasons that led me to believe that I might not like this novel. It is easy to stand in opposition to anything so widely championed. And maybe I have some reluctance to read African-American literature because I think I won't relate. Never the less, the book had sat on my to-be-read list too long for me to continue to ignore. And I am glad that I finally read it.
The book truly is as magnificent, as well crafted as everyone says. But it's not just that. It's not just that you can tell the intelligence and care that were poured into the work, it's that the characters are compelling. While we may be considering circumstances that a person in my position may not comprehend, we are given them through the eyes of characters that are so well-rounded, so deep that we understand their plight.
Morrison captures the way her characters speak and think within the narration, but she doesn't let that limit the language and the style of her prose. At times the text falls into abstraction in ways that I find hard to appreciate, though it is apparent that it all serves a purpose. I may not rank this one at the top of my favorites list, though I will be recommending it to those who have not read it.

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