Beloved

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.)

Review

Filled with mixed emotions, readers described the book as outstanding, depressing, horrific, and surrealistic. Most got into the story quite quickly, whereas others struggled with making sense of the language or with believing in the supernatural element. When the initial hurdles had been overcome, all readers enjoyed the book immensely. They empathised with Sethe and felt her actions justified within the context. They felt the other characters were well portrayed and liked hearing the different voices. Once in the flow of the story, they liked how the narrative circled around the memories and also appreciated the flashbacks and re-telling of past events. Some readers struggled with the second part of the book because of the stream of consciousness passages and felt they needed to suspend disbelief about the ghost. Readers agreed that the style of writing was fluent, elegant and musical, beautifully capturing the characters feelings. One reader described the book as being like an ‘impressionist canvas of emotions.’ Another said it was important that the story was told in such a way to leave an imprint in your memory. Overall, it averaged an 8.6 out of 10.

Synopsis

Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for so many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe’s new home is not only haunted by the memories of her past… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 19 (Oct 2015 – Jun 2016)
“The Lazarus Project” by Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia-Hercegovina)
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.)
“In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya)
“The Ventriloquist’s Tale” by Pauline Melville (Guyana)
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan (Australia) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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