Born into slavery, Sethe fled to Ohio. Nevertheless, eighteen years later, she is still enslaved by memories of Sweet Home, a farm where horrific events transpired. The fact that her home is also haunted by the furious ghost of her unnamed infant, whose tombstone reads “Beloved,” does not help.
Just when Sethe believes she may have a chance to move on from her past, a mystery adolescent girl identifying herself as Beloved arrives at her home. Beloved questions what Sethe, Denver, and Paul D, a former slave at Sweet Home, believed to be true about their society.
This book was released on September 16, 1987, and was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Frederic G. Melcher Book Award. Beloved was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 1987.
Morrison was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author “who brings to life a fundamental component of American reality in books distinguished by the visionary intensity and lyrical meaning.” In 2001, Ladies’ Home Journal named her one of the “30 Most Influential Women in America.” She is recognized for her novels “The Bluest Eye” and “Song of Solomon.” Morrison died in the month of August in 2019.
This story is well-written overall, with moments of utter clarity on the miseries of slavery and the intricate link between the past and an individual in the present. Readers will have to confront the terrible realities of America’s past and consider their own privileges in the present.
But, there were several instances in which I was just perplexed or lost. This is a book that requires your undivided attention, since Morrison employs literary tactics like foreshadowing, switching between many timeframes, and frequent first-person narration. I frequently felt as though I had missed a story point or strolled into the middle of a discussion.
Reading the evaluations of others made it plain to me that many people have strong opinions about this work, whether they are extremely good or extremely negative.
Good reviews indicate that this work is more than just a ghost story or even a story about slavery; rather, it is a masterpiece of twentieth-century American literature. Negative reviews claim that the purpose of this story was to make white readers feel guilty for being white.
I found myself more in the middle; I badly want this to be the fantasy novel I know it can be, but I’m unsure about key sections of the book. Still, I adore a good ghost story, and this work definitely satisfies that craving.
Please be advised that this book may not be suitable for all readers, since it contains triggers like as rape, torture, and cannibalism. Read with care or be ready to conduct further study to determine that this is a novel you wish to tackle.
I would give ‘Beloved’ three stars out of five. It is accessible in major bookstores and libraries.