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Young Adult Recommended audiences is 6th grade and up. Not the category for New Adult. This book is Free on September 27, Kindle. Kindle 0. Share this: Facebook Reddit Twitter Google. Beloved tells us about unspeakable cruelty and abuse inflicted on humanity by humanity itself. Beloved reveals festering psychological wounds, deep emotional scars that could never ever heal. Beloved is profoundly lyrical and empathetic in its depiction of grotesque events that unfolded during the most ignominious part of America's history. Beloved wrenches your heart out, shreds it into a million tiny pieces but then stitches all the pieces together and hands your heart back to you - all bloodied and messed up.

Maybe a few years down the line when I read Beloved again, I will write a more coherent review and sound less emotional. Maybe I will get every cryptic message Toni Morrison intended for her reader to receive and decode. Maybe I will not. But I will try. And I will read this book again when I feel like my life is difficult or I can't go on anymore. I'm sure Sethe and Beloved will be there to hold my hands and lead me forward. I cannot write anymore. I must go and find myself another tissue. But I just had to write this the way I did.

View all comments. Jul 31, Mark Stone rated it did not like it Recommends it for: nobody.

I don't give books low marks lightly. If anything, I am prone to being carried away by the author's enthusaism and rate books more highly than they deserve. I am an aspiring author, myself, and that also leads me to be kind to the books. That being said, I really hated this book. I like fantasy and magical realism. I find the dreams and allegories that live just underneath the skin of the world we can more readily see and touch endlessly fascinating.

I like my stories intense and emotional, and I I don't give books low marks lightly. I like my stories intense and emotional, and I like it when characters are so full of passion that it obscures their sense of the world around them. I found Beloved incomprehensible to the point of absurdity. It's one thing to have a book that is full of magic and poetry or to have a character's passion overwhelm their ability to describe the world from time to time, but I also need to know what is going on.

For the story to grab me, I need to know what the story is. Did I mention that I really hated this book? I know it's trendy to read Toni Morrison , but I recommend this book to absolutely no one. I found it a borderline insulting waste of my time. View all 86 comments. Something about the dense, poetic prose and the elliptical nature of the storytelling made it impenetrable. About a third of the way in, I realized just how carefully Morrison had constructed the narrative, which pivots on two horrific events: one involving a mother killing her child inspired by the actual story of a woman named Margaret Garner , and the other, which informs the first, about an attempted escape by a group of slaves at a plantation — and its violent aftermath.

The setting is , Ohio. Sethe and her daughter Denver live in a house on Bluestone Road. When Paul D enters the home, things begin to change. He and Sethe worked on the same plantation — called Sweet Home, ironic because it was anything but — decades earlier. They share history, good and bad, and harbour secrets from the other.

Beloved overflows with stories: some tragic, some vicious, some joyous, some brimming with love. It takes a while to get all the names straight; I found myself flipping back to see when a character was introduced. These are balanced out with scenes of kindness and generosity. The language is earthy yet majestic, with echoes of Faulkner and even the King James Bible. The point of view shifts repeatedly. Morrison gives you various takes on the same scene but spreads them throughout the book, so you circle around events trying to get to the truth.

Is the truth possible? Do some things remain unknowable? Generations of it. But like much great art, Beloved offers a glimmer of hope and redemption at the end. We need some kind of tomorrow.

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View all 59 comments. Aug 13, Angela M rated it it was amazing. The brutal truth, brilliantly written. These are some of the images that I will remember long after reading this book. The past is present in flashbacks, in memory, in stories told by one character to another, in streams of consciousness. The past is always present in the present. This blend of past and present requires the reader to pay close attention.

What an achievement in storytelling! Just be prepared. With every article I read about her this last week, I kept thinking about how much I have missed by not having read any of her books. View all 83 comments. Jun 24, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: pulitzer , nobels , books-to-read-before-you-die , favorites.

You changed the way I read! Sometimes reality is too painful to address in plain, simple narrative. Sometimes truth has to be approached in circling movements, slowly getting to the heart of the matter through shifting, loosely linked stories that touch on the wound ever so lightly, without getting too close too fast. Sometimes I read to escape my reality, only to find myself in a universe endlessly more complicated, more painful, more difficult to understand and fol RIP, Beloved Toni Morrison!

Sometimes I read to escape my reality, only to find myself in a universe endlessly more complicated, more painful, more difficult to understand and follow. Sometimes basic statements like "I could never understand why a mother would kill her child" seem to dissolve, leaving a confused feeling of not knowing exactly anymore what is right and what is wrong, given specific cruel circumstances.

Sometimes novels shake me and leave me scarred, endlessly sad and grateful at the same time. Beloved Toni Morrison. Your voice sounds loud and clear through the fog of political thought. If you want to know what slavery does to people, read Beloved. It will not leave you unaffected. It left me speechless. View all 29 comments. Beloved is a novel about haunting; it is a novel about the human inability to move on from the past and how easily it can resurface. We may try to move on, but it never really leaves us.

And when the past is painful and full of blood it echoes for an eternity. Was it murder? Was it mercy? Was it both? I Beloved is a novel about haunting; it is a novel about the human inability to move on from the past and how easily it can resurface. The American slave trade can never be forgotten nor should it. Although Beloved is the physical manifestation that is haunting her mother, the reality is somewhat different. It is her past; it is the injustice she faced and a decision she was forced to make that will never leave her. Beloved is just the embodiment of it.

The novel flicks around in time, moving forwards, backwards and then returning the present. Beloved is no light reading. It is a demanding book. The plot shifts around with little explanation, point of views change randomly and quickly. But, again, this is because the past never truly leaves us. We may be in the present, though our history will always haunt us. And here America is being haunted by her dark past. The shackles may have been removed but each former slave will always feel them on their wrists biting into their skin.

They flock together, building new communities out of those who experienced, and are still experiencing, the pain and hell slavery wrought them. They do their best to carry on and make new lives, though racial prejudice still remains. And it will for many more years. But who are they now? There is also a sense of closeness, of inexperience. The world is a vast place, but for former slaves, for those born into slavery, it is dauntingly huge.

Imagine spending your entire life in one enclosed space, knowing but a small handful of people, and then suddenly having the world made available to you. Where do you go? Where do you belong? Thus, men like Paul D are forced to wonder with no real sense of belonging. They go from town to town, relationship to relationship, without establishing a strong sense of identity or roots. Pain permeates this narrative.

It oozes out of the characters and their sad experiences. Morrison gets to the heart of the matter and she is uncompromising in her honesty. Certainly, not a novel to be missed though I was glad to finish it. View all 4 comments. Dec 08, Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , all-time-favorites-fiction. There are reasons why Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Beloved may be the biggest one. The structure is a ghost story about a woman who killed her own children rather than see them be dragged back from freedom to live a life of slavery, and how the guilt of that act comes back to haunt her.

Sethe is the main character. Having already sent her children ahead, this pregnant woman flees slavery in the south and takes up residence with her grandmother, Baby Suggs. But when a posse comes to bring her back, she kills her children rather than allow them to become slaves. Also, there is commentary on the need for and value of community. When Paul D is in need the community of free blacks is more than willing to help. The story is based on a real case, on in which Margaret Garner remembered in this book as the family name given to the less horrendous slave owners in killed her children for the same reason.

Most men in this book are oppressors, but a few rise above. Mister Garner, although a slave owner, shows at least some signs of humanity. Paul D is the most developed male character, struggling with his fears and weaknesses, but in search of truth and peace. Morrison utilizes expected literary devices like foreshadowing an early image of a white-clad figure hovering over Sethe , flipping back and forth among several time lines, changing from third person to first, classic references p When the four horsemen came—schoolteacher, one nephew, one slave catcher and a sherrif—the hours on Bluestone Road was so quiet they thought they were too late.

More than just a great ghost story or an outstanding tale of slavery, Morrison has written a classic of 20th century American literature. It will be read forever. View all 24 comments. Dec 21, Fabian rated it it was amazing. Because slavery is such a muddy record in our books, it is certain documents like these, which widen the scope significantly to include various P. The book mirrors the psyche of a woman who chooses liberating death for her child, rather than the awful clutch of slavery. It decidedly marks a usually-undocumented moment when ex-slaves got something close to freedom-- and had to find out how to live, survive, or try to make way for the upcoming generation-- outside of slavery.

View all 6 comments. Aug 25, Harpal Khalsa rated it did not like it Recommends it for: No one. Shelves: school. This is probably my least favorite book I have ever read. I think I hate it even more because so many people like it so much. Unlike really trashy novels, people actually try to argue that this is a great book. But it definitely embodies all the things that make me hate books. It's heavy handed with its message, which ultimately ruins some pretty spectacular imagery.

Its also just a giant pastiche of people who can actually write, which makes it just feel disjointed and annoying since it switche This is probably my least favorite book I have ever read. Its also just a giant pastiche of people who can actually write, which makes it just feel disjointed and annoying since it switches between standard narration and stream of conciousness and surrealism in intensely awkward ways. It's not even like that switching between different narrative structures is inherently bad, but this book definitely does it in the most ridiculously annoying way of any book I have ever read.

Along with the heavy handedness of the whole affair is that this whole book is just trying to make me guilty for being white. It is probably one of the top 3 most unfortunate things in the history of the world that slavery not only ever existed but went on for so long, but I already get that. So really Toni, no need to beat that into my head with a bloody axe So to speak. Seriously, even thinking of the entire month I spent reading and analyzing this giant piece of trash gives me a headache. I'm convinced that this book strikes the ultimate low-point on the acclaim vs.

It's just artsy-fartsy nonsense for people who want to feel like they're reading real literature when they're not. I'm pretty sure I don't have proper words to express my hatred for this book Or, rather, if I expressed my hatred for this book, my words would not be proper , so I'll just leave it at that. View all 36 comments. Feb 18, Violet wells rated it it was amazing Shelves: contemporary-american-fiction , faves , pulitzer.

This is one of those rare and beautiful books that begins as if it's written in a code you have to crack. You have the sense early on that you've missed some vital shred of information and it's these perceived black holes that engage your attention on an ever deepening level. As is the case in the best detective novels maddening clues needed to complete knowledge are scattered deftly at every turn. The past is a constant illuminating presence in every present moment.

Beloved exploits brilliantly This is one of those rare and beautiful books that begins as if it's written in a code you have to crack. Beloved exploits brilliantly so many of the possibilities the novel offers as an art form. And Morrison has an ingenious control of her difficult material throughout. Beloved is historical fiction, probably the best ghost story ever written along with Wuthering Heights, it has elements of playful magical realism but it's also a raging righteous social document; it's an exciting detective story, a rich and character strong family saga and a moving grown up romance.

Rare to encounter a novel written with so much heart combined with masterful artistry. View all 35 comments. Jul 03, Maria Espadinha rated it it was amazing. Garner was a former slave, who murdered one of her kids, and tried the very same treatment with the remaining ones. After a failed escape, Margaret Garner was determined to end not even her own life, but also the ones of her beloved children.

She was desperate enough to commit suicide, infanticide, whatever Garner showed no signs of insanity nor repentance. Those hedious acts seemed the right thing to do in that particular, cruel, reality picture! This real life event has been the seed to Beloved and it's probably the only truth you will find in there. That, and Toni Morrison found the real Margaret Garner fascinating and interesting enough to create a whole story about her: She gave her thoughts, relatives, acquaintances, and When I think about this infanticide, all I can say is Let life be the judge!!!

View all 14 comments. Shelves: read-in , best-ever. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. You who read me keep your repugnance and horror to yourself. I am here to tell you my story with an iron smile under my chin. The men without skin stole my milk so my mother punished them with my blood. I was the already crawling baby waiting to be loved. I am Beloved. Which kind of unimaginable atrocities can lead a mother to murder her own baby to spare it a certain life full of humiliation and wanton abuse? How much suffering can a human being unde You who read me keep your repugnance and horror to yourself.

How much suffering can a human being undergo before he loses touch with reality and turns to derangement as the only way to cope? But I do wonder, derangement or conscientious remembrance as a sort of self-inflicted punishment? Set in the s Ohio, this story reveals, in a disturbingly subtle and poignant way, the real value of freedom as opposed to a life of slavery.

Baby Suggs, the mother of her spouse -only in the eyes of God- Halle, tries to warn her about the risks of being a slave woman and insisting on loving her children too dearly. But Sethe blooms with the seed of light which is growing inside her and plans an escape with her family to be able to love freely. Until one fateful day, when the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, disguised as men without skin, come to take what they believe to be their right.

They come to teach a lesson to these proud animals which have had the boldness to believe they can be human beings. They undermine the body and tear the flesh, proving their power and manhood, forcing their entrance. They arise as the masters, squeezing all kind of fluxes from emaciated carcasses: urine, spit, blood and milk. But not tears, never tears. The fluxes blend into a streaming river of sorrow and lost hopes which will never reach the cleansing waters.

They wear out the spirit and subjugate the soul, chocking and chopping. The hummingbirds sing, flapping their wings, and the sunbeams shine through the branches of the trees, which are now adorned with hanging limbless torsos.


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The natural world, which becomes the imperturbable setting for this irrational carnage, watches as an indifferent spectator. She only has time to spare one before she is stopped. Her Beloved. A murderess? Or a selfless, desperate act of a loving mother? An individual might not find enough strength in him to exorcise the ghosts from his past, to break free from his long life bondages, to recover from the nonhealing wounds of his soul. But when embraced by the nourishing arms of the community, when allowed to enter its collective memories and sorrows, he becomes miraculously empowered to banish his worst nightmares, to let go of the shame and the guilt.

A future, free from the shadow of slavery is possible then, where a so much coveted peace of mind can be envisioned, where the hummingbirds will sing and the sundrenched grass will gleam in harmony with smiling faces instead of iron grimaces and scarred necks. Slave life; freed life- every day was a test and a trial. I am the girl and I am still waiting to be loved. This is not a story to pass on. This is a story to forget so that a new beginning can be born. View all 64 comments. Working, working dough. Nothing better than that to start the day's serious work of beating back the past. It seems to be a good book to read in the light of the recent discussion on the Roots reboot, as well as the recent New York Times article which discusses how African-American DNA bears signs of slavery.

I feel that for many thi "Working dough. I feel that for many this isn't too much of a surprise. This was a tough read, even tougher the second time around. I never get used to books like this; if anything they get more painful as I become more and more aware of what slavery consisted of. One of the things that always gets to me when reading slave narratives is the burdens the slaves had to endure and with little to no help, but I'm learning about the little things they did to try to endure and survive.

Some of their methods may not sound healthy, from our perspectives for example, limiting love because you know that any time your family could be taken away from you , but this book shows us in many ways how unless we are in a certain situation, it's really impossible for us to know how we'll react to it. At the beginning of the book, former slave Baby Suggs is contemplating colour, all because she is about to die and she has never had the time to do so before.

The world of a slave is small and it doesn't belong to them. And even with freedom the past still haunts them: "Her past had been like her present--intolerable--and since she knew death was anything but forgetfulness, she used the little energy left her for pondering color. Paul D and Sethe's love story is against the odds, with Paul D guarding his heart and Sethe still recovering from deaths, abuse, and children running away.

Two very broken people, and Paul D with this sort of mentality: "He would keep the rest where it belonged: in that tobacco tin buried in his chest where a red heart used to be. Its lid rusted shut. He would not pry it loose now in front of this sweet sturdy woman, for if she got a whiff of the contents it would shame him. And it would hurt her to know that there was no red heart bright as Mister's comb beating in him.

Would it be all right to go ahead and feel? Go ahead and count on something? I pictured her loneliness, loneliness that caused her to value the company of a ghost, which is why she clung to Beloved, who demands so much attention and affection. I ended up liking her character transformation the most: "In that bower, closed off from the hurt of the hurt world, Denver's imagination produced its own hunger and its own food, which she badly needed because loneliness wore her out.

Wore her out. Sep 28, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in , oprah-told-me-to , i-read-banned-books , smort , liburrrrrry-book. I realize this is a classic and a Pulitzer Prize winner and yada yada yada, but oh my goodness am I glad to be done.

Going in to this book I knew nothing about it except for the fact that it was on the Banned Books List and that Oprah said I should read it. I did manage to finish, but WHAT. I will say that Beloved is the only book I can remember reading where I was in love with the story but hated the way it was told. As for Beloved being touted one of the best books of all time???? Thanks for nothing, Oprah! View all 30 comments. Sep 12, Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing Shelves: postmodernism , classic , personal-favorite. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.

I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. The CCLaP In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label Book Beloved , by Toni Morrison The story in a nutshell: To understand the importance of 's Beloved , you need to understand that before this first Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter. The CCLaP In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label Book Beloved , by Toni Morrison The story in a nutshell: To understand the importance of 's Beloved , you need to understand that before this first novel of hers, author Toni Morrison was already a respected executive within the publishing industry, and a highly educated book-loving nerd; this is what made it so frustrating for her during the s and '80s, after all, when trying to look back in history for older books detailing the historical black experience, and finding almost nothing there because of past industry discrimination, general withholding of education from blacks for decades, etc.

This novel, then, is Morrison's attempt to partially right this wrong, loosely using a real historical record from the s she once discovered when younger and obsessed upon for years, the story of a slave woman her age who once voluntarily killed her own child rather than let her be taken back to slave territory. In Morrison's case, the novel is set in the decade following the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, up in Ohio in the northern US where so many former slaves fled during the so-called "Reconstruction" of the American South in those years.

As such, the actual plotline resembles the beginnings of what we now call "magical realism," a style that has become virtually its own new sub-genre in literary fiction in the last twenty years; because not only is this woman's house haunted by a violent poltergeist, but eventually even a young woman appears claiming to be Beloved herself, the bizarre revenge-seeking reincarnated version of the very daughter this woman killed during the Civil War years. But is she? Or is she a runaway taking chance advantage of intimate knowledge she randomly happened to learn through odd circumstances?

And does it matter? Just as is the case with most great postmodern literature, Beloved actually tackles a lot of different bigger issues in a metaphorical way, perhaps the more important point altogether than the details of the magical part of the plot, which never does get fully resolved in a definitive way even by the end; it is instead a novel about love, about family, about responsibility, about the struggle between innate intelligence and a formal education.

It is ultimately a book about the black experience, a sophisticated and complex look at some of the emotional issues people from that time period must've had to struggle with, Morrison writing their stories for them precisely because none of them were allowed to back then, or were given the education to express themselves in such an eloquent way; and as such, it's not really the "ghost" part of this ghost-story that is important at all, but rather that it serves as a convenient coat-rack in which to hang all these other issues.

The argument for it being a classic: Well, for starters, it won the Pulitzer Prize, and when was the last time you won a Pulitzer, chump? Much more important than that, though, say its fans, it heralded a whole new sea-change in the global arts altogether; a triumphant moment for both black artists and women artists and especially black women artists , a story that not only speaks powerfully and intimately to all people with that background, but that proves to the rest of the world that it's not just stuffy white dudes who can write beautiful, haunting, instantly classic literature.

It's a major highlight of the postmodern period, say historians, a changing of the guard just as important as when the early Modernists shut down the Victorian Age; this one novel and its overwhelming success single-handedly ushered in a whole new golden period for the arts concerning people of color, women, the gay community and more. And not only that, but so far it's held up well too; it was not only made into an extremely high-profile movie ten years later, starring and produced by The Great And Almighty Oprah Hallowed Be Her Name Amen, but in was named by the New York Times as the very best American novel of the last 25 years.

The argument against: A weak one, frankly; it seems that most people who read this book end up loving it, and with very little dissent found online. And a controversial argument, too; because the argument against this book being a classic seems mostly to be the anti-politically-correct argument, that books such as these got as much attention as they did in the '80s, '90s and '00s merely because the overly liberal academic community had a political agenda back then, that they were determined to usher in a new golden age for writers of color and women and the gay community, even if they had to falsely trumpet a whole series of merely okay books, or sometimes even semi-crappy ones.

It's an argument more often applied to other, lesser books than Beloved , frankly; but like other books in the CCLaP series, you can technically argue that this book started the entire trend, was the one that led to the lesser books afterwards that people complain about in a more valid way.

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I'm not sure how much water this holds, but you do see people arguing this point online. My verdict: So in many ways, this week's book very directly illustrates why I wanted to start this essay series in the first place this year, of why I first thought it good for my own life that I tackle all these so-called "classics" for the first time, and only then thought, "Oh yeah, and I could write essays about the experience afterwards too.

Plus, I'm predisposed to dislike the so-called "ebonics" on display here in Beloved , an aspect of this book that continues to be controversial; that is, Morrison wrote all the dialogue here as actual barely-educated former slaves in the s would've actually talked, making it difficult to follow along and requiring close attention while reading, a decision that some "Western Classics" style professors have accused of being damaging to the arts in the long term, and another bad legacy of the politically-correct years.

But then again, let's plainly admit that I have absolutely loved reading all these old Victorian novels that I have through the CCLaP this year as well, of looking back on the nerdy little overdressed white people who were my very ancestors and seeing how they talked, behaved, what they found important, what they fretted about when the doors were closed, feeling that connection between them and myself, feeling that except for the wardrobe and funky flowery language we were actually quite alike.

When thought about this way, suddenly one has a lot of empathy for what Morrison and other intelligent, educated black women went through in pre- Beloved days; they simply wanted to have the same experience I've been having with Victorian literature this year, frustratingly couldn't because of no literature from smart educated black women even existing from those years, so realized that they were going to have to write it themselves.

And also when looking at it this way, you realize that the ebonics of Beloved is no worser at all than, say, the Romanticism of Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables ; both are old-fashioned language, hard for modern eyes to follow, yet historically accurate and reflecting what those times were actually like. Both require patience, both require forgiveness, but both can offer up richly rewarding experiences if taken seriously and if meeting the author halfway.

It's this essay series, this newfound attention to the historical classics, that is making my brain suddenly work in these new ways this year, to have a more patient and more expansive view of any particular project I tackle; like I said, that's the whole reason I decided to read a hundred classics in the first place, is to hopefully learn something from it, since so many people are always arguing that there's something unique and important to be learned from "reading the classics. It gets an extremely high recommendation from me today.

Is it a classic? Aug 24, Trillian rated it did not like it Recommends it for: over-educated literati. Shelves: not-worthwhile. This is the worst book that I have ever read. It epitomizes what elite academics love about literature: It is dark and nasty which, to an academic, means realistic and it is obscure and incoherent to an academic, this means deep and profound. This is like the deliberately hideous painting that is called "art" by intellectuals: Common-sense individuals question its merit and are told it is complex, beautiful, and beyond the untrained understanding and crass sensibilities of the uneducated.

I This is the worst book that I have ever read. I disliked everything about this book - its leftist message, disgusting characters and grotesque writing style a conglomeration of broken grammar rules, disorganized structure and ungainly narrative. It is mired in filth with its references to bestiality, sexual assault, psychological torture, violence and infanticide.

View all 41 comments. In the beginning there were no words. In the beginning was the sound, and they all knew what that sound sounded like. I could leave it like that. I should, really, I should. Leave it, in her words, in her meaning, in her context and effort and heritage and everything that is not mine. Never will be mine, these things that should rightfully flay me alive every time I happen to dwell upon them, whether in flight of fanciful musings or serious consideration as they so rightfully deserve.

The only t In the beginning there were no words. The only thing I own is the history, and god forbid I forget it for a length of breath. I see the decriers of her prose, and I wonder. I see the decriers of magical realism, and I wonder. I see the decriers of characters, of plot, of calves in particular, and I have to wonder, especially at the calves. That was what made you stop? Just that? You should know better, by now, there is no excuse calibrated enough to sail you past the port of truth.

Especially that. So I will try. I, descendant of Virginia landowners and parents who refuse to believe in the fact and face of the current US president, will try, and I can only hope for Toni Morrison to let me be. This here Sethe talked about love like any other woman; talked about baby clothes like any other woman, but what she meant could cleave the bone. There, just that, are the words you really need. More of hers, I know, but truly, I have nothing to fall upon besides vague nuances of "slavery", "United States", "the evil that men do".

And women, and people, and the days rolling by on the backs of millions, chokecherry trees bleeding through the centuries to a boy named Trayvon Martin today and so, so many others. No answers; no redemption. Just facts and figures and cultures spliced and split along veins of the void, how much can one thing break another, and how long, and how shall it ever be unbroken.

Download PDF Beloved One (A Broken Foot Novel Book 1)

The voice carries all of that, and beyond it. Listen to the voice long enough, and you will begin to see the hazy and bloodcurdled outlines of the question, the content, the situational chaos bounded by need on one side and means on the other, and the world that will never be able to afford to stop picking up the pieces.

All those cultures, crossed over and carted through and cultivated by greed and power, and the voice of a single woman, the last Laureate of Literature of her country, a country still obsessed with whitewashing its foundations. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh.

They despise it. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. You got to love it, you!

Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear.

What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. You got to love it. Flesh that needs to be loved. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. The dark, dark liver—love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too.

More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize. You will never get a grasp on the latter. But the former, here, will help you on your way. But only if you can bear it, and if and only if you have any hope for tomorrow. For if you have, you must. Saying no more, she stood up then and danced with her twisted hip the rest of what her heart had to say while the others opened their mouths and gave her the music.

Long notes held until the four-part harmony was perfect enough for their deeply loved flesh. View all 42 comments. Set after the American Civil War —65 , it is inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky late January by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. Morrison had come across the story "A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed Her Child" in an newspaper article published in the American Baptist and reproduced in The Black Book, a miscellaneous compilation of black history and culture that Morrison edited in View 2 comments. Apr 01, Samra Yusuf rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , fav.

Damn the humans, they are the most enigmatic beings who ever lived, their hearts have reasons that reason knows not, and their heads fabricate worlds the world have never seen, they kill the things they love and are haunted by the memories that fade away by the time but never disappear, but becomes a ghost and gnaws at your nerves, for always and forever…. To be a mother is the most consummate feeling one can have, the one most celestial and earthly alike, you share your blood and flesh with the Damn the humans, they are the most enigmatic beings who ever lived, their hearts have reasons that reason knows not, and their heads fabricate worlds the world have never seen, they kill the things they love and are haunted by the memories that fade away by the time but never disappear, but becomes a ghost and gnaws at your nerves, for always and forever….

To be a mother is the most consummate feeling one can have, the one most celestial and earthly alike, you share your blood and flesh with the one who resides in your womb ignorant of the outer world, the bloody walls and thumping heart his only world, a seed size of a grain gradually becomes something you come to love unconditionally, who feeds on your flesh and sucks your milk, to be a mother is almost godly! Then there is a world different than ours, a world of less-humans who are bought and sold like corn, where, to live is a curse and to die a luxury, where you are never sure to get bread enough to calm the hunger, where you are never free enough to entertain your eyes with sight of sky, where you are aware of only one color, the color of dirt and hint of sweat, and where you are not named but numbered!

She kills the baby girl and will be haunted by her ghost, the baby denied to suck milk, will suck life out of her mother, the baby denied of the warmth of lap, will haunt the home her mother lives, the baby denied to breathe life, will turn the lives of others into living hell…. Morrison is at her best in building most complicated of characters stucked in bizarre tapestry of relations, magical realism is handled craftily, one wayward step and you lose thread of the story wholly, Beloved becomes more than just a repressed memory, but also a representation for the entire community.

While much of their pain stems from the horrors of slavery, it is also comes from their relationship with Sethe. Throughout the novel, Sethe suffers more psychological damage than any other character, making it logical that others would find themselves entangled in her life. As a character, Beloved represents not only her own history as being one who, before her murder, lived along the edge of the line between freedom and slavery, but the history of several generations as she acts out the pain of others by forcing along their remembrances…..

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View all 26 comments. Jul 16, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: women-of-colour Morrison based the novel on the story of Margaret Garner, an escaped slave who killed her child as she was being recaptured, to save the child a lifetime of slavery. The setting is around the time of the civil war. The plot and the storyline are well known and it seems most of my GR friends have either read it or have it on their tbr lists. He hid in its breast, fingered its earth for food, clung to its banks to lap water and tried not to love it.

On nights when the sky was personal, weak with the weight of its own stars, he made himself not love it. Its grave-yards and low-lying rivers. Or just a house—solitary under a chinaberry tree; maybe a mule tethered and the light hitting its hide just so. Anything could stir him and he tried hard not to love it. It has been argued that Morrison is confronting and highlighting things not recorded or told by histories narrated by white historians. I think this is also where some of the negative reviews come from; because the novel is not polemical and the characters have and enduring humanity with nuance.

There are reviews saying this is the worst book ever, expressing hatred and loathing for the novel. Hatred and loathing; worst book ever! There are so many bad, bad books out there. I wonder if it is being forced to look at something in the past, that is still in the present and that we are unwilling to face. It seems that slavery has now to be a topic studied in history; making it too real and present creates strong reactions.

We still minimize and gloss over in the west the horrors we perpetrated on other parts of the globe. The European powers and the US killed far more than the Nazis did in the slave trade and we still have a problem calling it genocide. Morrison makes it all human and personal and brings it home. View all 8 comments. Shelves: favorites , read-between-south , wehmut , mycents , channeling-challenge , moments-of-huh , no-kidding , to-re-read.

Sad as it was that she did not know where her children were buried or what they looked like if alive, fact was she knew more about them than she knew about herself, having never had the map to discover what she was like. It was not like that. Not anymore. It was never like that. As the years added up to my age, the real picture started unveiling itself step by step. Now you better look at me. Now you should know my name. It never demanded sympathy or tried to make me feel guilty. Some of them are blessed with names, some are nameless.

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The Beloved One

Some lived to tell their stories; some passed their stories to others. Some left little traces of their existence while others left without a trace. Some waited to be loved and some died because they were loved. These things are secondary. It is first and foremost a tight slap on the face of humanity.