Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sula” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,361 Ratings  ·  2,004 Reviews
This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has reje
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 5th 2002 by Plume (first published 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sula, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Karen Davis If you are a teacher--read the book! I have found, in many, many years of teaching, the only way to assess how useful a specific book is for the goals…moreIf you are a teacher--read the book! I have found, in many, many years of teaching, the only way to assess how useful a specific book is for the goals I have set for my students is to carefully read and annotate the book myself, marking passages for character development, themes, socio-historical context, comparisons with other books or films, etc.(less)
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonThe Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm XBeloved by Toni MorrisonInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Best African American Books
20th out of 604 books — 779 voters
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Awakening by Kate Chopin
Best Feminist Fiction
31st out of 1,042 books — 2,205 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 28, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Then summer came. A summer limp with the weight of blossoming things. Heavy sunflowers weeping over fences; iris curling and browning at the edges far away from their purple hearts; ears of corn letting their auburn hair wind down to their stalks. And the boys. The beautiful, beautiful boys who dotted the landscape like jewels, split the air with their shouts in the field, and thickened the river with their shining wet backs. Even their footsteps left a smell of smoke behind."- Toni Morrison, S ...more
Sep 18, 2015 Jibran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nobel
Hell ain't things lasting forever. Hell is change.

It is time for change; slowly, painfully, but inexorably the spirit of the age sheds old rags and dons a new garb. The mutes are beginning to discover a voice that had been trapped in their windpipes; eyes see things that they had hitherto only watched; and hearts ache with a new throb of hope mixed with fear of which no one can tell which is greater. From this sense of foreboding out comes Sula.

The excluded community confined up in the hills out
Feb 01, 2009 brian rated it liked it
all these new editions of morrison’s books have the same author photo on the back. and it’s been causing problems. check it out:

despite that weird author hand placement thing, i've been kinda seriously obsessing over all these pictures of morrison's huge lion's head, piercing eyes, and silver dreads... and as i plow through her body of work i stare at her face for some external indication of all the furious demented & psychotic shit she flings at us. by all appearances she's a lovely woman.
Apr 07, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Toni Morrison is the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas, the flea's eyebrows, the canary's tusks, the eel's ankle, the snake's hip, and the mutt's nuts.
Barry Pierce
I always thought of Toni Morrison as one of those writers that your mother reads. Y'know, somewhere in the realms of Danielle Steel. How wrong was I eh? For something so short, the breadth of time and story is remarkable. I loved the dichotomous friendship of Nel and Sula and its eventual result. This novel is surprisingly disgusting as well, like Bret Easton Ellis disturbing. I like twisted tales though and I definitely like Morrison. More like this please!
Edward Lorn
Sula is very nearly a horror novel. We're not talking serial killers or unstoppable monstrosities, but raw human horror, the kind of horror of which I wish there was more. Toni Morrison might cringe to think anyone would consider her work in the same breath as horror fiction, but there are quite a few disturbing scenes, ones that I will not spoil or even allude to in this review. I want you to experience them for yourselves. Needless to say, I was shocked by the brutality, and pleasantly surpris ...more
I'm grateful to Rowena for inviting me to join The Year of Reading Toni Morrison group which spurred me to read this now. It's one of Toni Morrison's shorter works, and in her brief introduction to this edition, she notes its uniqueness in having a friendly, comfortable opening to orient the outsider (possibly white) reader.
Ignor[ing] the gentle welcome [would] put the reader into immediate confrontation with his wounded mind ['the emotional luggage one carries into the black-topic text']. It wo
Nicholas Armstrong
Jul 30, 2012 Nicholas Armstrong rated it did not like it
I want to first preface this with a concept presented by Harold Bloom. Bloom was discussing the admission or omission of 'ethnic' writers from the canon. He argued the reason there were so many white male writers is because, obviously, of societal factors of oppression, but also because they were the ones doing most of the writing. Bloom does not think we should rewrite the canon with new ethnic writers just because there aren't any. He DOES think an ethnic writer is important and should be ackn ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Τζο rated it really liked it
Ψαχνοντας μικρα σε μεγεθος βιβλια για να εχω ετοιμα για διαβασμα στο κινητο μου επεσα πανω σε αυτο το μικρο διαμαντακι. Την Toni Morrison την ειχα ακουστα απο διαφορα post που εβλεπα απο σελιδες που εχουν σα θεμα τους τα βιβλια και μπορω να πω πως μου ειχε δημιουργηθει μια ενδομυχη περιεργεια να δω τι ακριβως μπορει να γραψει. Χαιρομαι τελικα που της εδωσα μια ευκαιρια διοτι ειναι εκπληκτικη συγγραφεας.

Το πρωτο μισο της ιστοριας ηταν εξαιρετικο.Ξεκιναει με την ιστορια των γονιων των κεντρικων ηρ
Jul 19, 2008 Lawsonlitgeek rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmad Sharabiani
349. Sula, Toni Morrison
(سولا - تونی موریسون (نشر قله
سولا، اثر موریسون، سرگذشت و زندگی دو زن سیاه پوست است در اوهایو، زندگی «سولا» و دوست عزیزش «نل»، از کودکی تا بلوغ، و از بلوغ تا مرگ. رمان، جایزه کتاب ملی منتقدان را نیز کسب کرده است
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

When I first read this in high school, I loved it but I didn't have the life experience to understand it, that I do now. This book connects with me, because the culture is familiar. Growing up in a black family, knowing how burdensome and destructive racism is, this broke my heart all over again. The story focuses on Nel and Sula, two best friends who lose each other and have to deal with the after. Friendship between women, is an undervalued part of th
Sep 13, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: topnotch
I disliked Sula.

Sula the book was great; a bit dry at points, but - of course - very well written, very well rendered by Toni Morrison. This is my first TM book, and I think it was a good introduction.

Hannah is one of my favorite characters. I am quite baffled as to how someone could describe a woman who basically sleeps with every man in town but make her seem so tame and likeable that I can't count it against her. I think that's the point; she was dependent on someone else for her financial se
May 09, 2007 Allyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2007 Metoka rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Feminists
Sula is controversial and she doesn't care. This is a novel about friendship in its most overwhelming form - not two women as friends, but two women as one: sharing, sharing, sharing until sharing was no longer appropriate...but does Sula know that? Did Nel?

Best lines:

1. "When you gone to get married? You need to have some babies. It'll settle you"
"I don't want to make somebody else. I want to make myself."

2. "She had been looking all along for a friend, and it took her a while to discover that
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 05, 2016 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever loved — and lost — a best friend
Recommended to Ivonne by: Karen Morgan
I really enjoyed Sula, although The Bluest Eye, my first Toni Morrison read, remains my favorite. The book lays open the stark choices that women had for most of the 20th century, between staid, upright housewife and woman of the world. I still don’t know how to discuss the book without giving away too much. Let me just say that Sula follows the relationship of two African-American girls — the polar opposites, Nel and Sula — in an Ohio river town from the 1920s into 1940.

Unlike a lot of “serious
Shannon *Eboni Scarlett* Holliday
Sula was a gift to me from an old boyfriend who I had been having trust issues with. I never forget he gave me this book as a birthday gift. I read it feeling mixed with emotions regarding my thoughts of his cheating or potential cheating with other women. Nonetheless, I read this book. I remember getting mad at Sula because it seemed no matter who was nice or extended kindness to her she always managed to have a negative reaction towards them. After finishing this book I recall feeling angry wi ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Cher rated it it was ok
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

Toni Morrison has been on my personal "must read" authors list for years, so it is especially disappointing to find that her style is simply not a good fit for my tastes. This book jumps from one unpleasant subject to the next, bouncing in and out of a stream of consciousness flow. While appropriate for the time in which the novel is set, I also found the repetitive, constant focus on race to be platitudinous and unfortunate. There are far more things I would like to know
Tiffany E
Mar 16, 2008 Tiffany E rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone 11th grade and up
Sula is rich with amazing figurative language and outstanding imagery. Reading this book will fully immerse the reader into the joys and tragedies of the characters within it. The story centers on two characters - Sula Peace and Nel Wright. The bond these girls share are remarkable, and soon enough, is tested over time. Eventually, however, one of them commits the ultimate betrayal, which tears them apart. This book focuses on many aspects of life, and really challenges the double standards that ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sula seemed to me completely different from Toni Morrison's Beloved, and I enjoyed Sula much more. While the presence of Sula, a strong, unique African-American girl, is discernable throughout the book, much of it actually focuses on other characters like her best friend Nel and the town veteran/madman/drunkard Shadrack. I like how the book begins with the story of her mother and grandmother so we get a sense of Sula's history. In fact, her one-legged grandmother Eva is one of the most intriguin ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Lindsay rated it did not like it
Shelves: american-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2013 Nakia rated it it was amazing
(1/15/13 review)Love! Love! Love!

(2009 review)Fantastic story! Morrison is a powerhouse when it comes to story telling. In this short book, she will manage to gain your heart, break it, and then heal it on the very last page. I'm glad Oprah made this one of her book selections so women everywhere could get the chance to experience and live through the life long friendship of Sula and Nel. The only way I know to describe this story: gorgeous!.
Dec 23, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it
Once again, Toni Morrison has fucked me up with brilliant writing and the ability to shape a character's misery into an implement that slips past flesh and bone before delivering a lifetime of pain into the jelly nether regions that we try to keep to ourselves. The final passage of "Sula" delivered the most piercing blow, and after I put the book down I was left gassed, limp, and a little depressed.

I love it.

I don't welcome pain or misery--which is to say, I don't read memoirs, and I don't truck
Apr 08, 2012 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toni Morrison is a brilliant author, I think it would be hard to argue otherwise. And I imagine her Nobel Prize is well deserved. (Can you feel a "but" coming? Here it is…) But, I didn't enjoy this book.

I would draw a parallel to classical music. I have heard many classical pieces written in the 20th century, which I disliked. I found many to be discordant. But it is simply a matter of taste. Some of these works have been very highly praised for their originality and creativity by people far mo
Apr 16, 2011 Kristina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I had no idea what this book was about. I was shocked at all of the people dying - being burnt alive, throwing themselves out windows, throwing kids in rivers, etc etc. There wasn't an ounce of remorse in any of the characters in this book. I found it hard to like either of the main characters, and in fact hated the title character Sula. I just didn't understand what her problem was. Why did she have to go off taking everyone's husband and act all arrogant? I feel th ...more
Toni Morrison has written a lush, earthy story, set in a segregated area of Ohio, about the black experience between 1919-1965. Nel, who has a very traditional childhood, becomes the best friend of Sula who lives in an unstructured environment. When they become adults, Nel got married, had children, and stayed in her hometown. Sula went away to college, and had affairs with many men, following the path of her sensual mother. Sula returned to her hometown after ten years, became the source of gos ...more
Shayantani Das
Oct 06, 2015 Shayantani Das rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Lonely, ain't it?
Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely.”

I don't think anybody can read Morrison with an air of indifference. Her prose doesn't allow you to look at her sentences and then continue seeing the world with an unaffected gaze. Tiny imperceptible shifts happen, on a material level in terms of all the furious underlining and post its(because her prose is BEAUTIFUL AND DRIPS WIT
Rating: 3,5 stars
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eliana Rivero
Mar 26, 2016 Eliana Rivero rated it really liked it
Reading challenge 2016.
19. Un libro del Club de Lectura de Oprah.

—No quiero hacer otras personas. Quiero hacerme a mí misma.

Amo a Toni Morrison. Su manera de escribir es impecable, y la forma en que desarrolla sus historias es magnífica: una hilación y una estructura muy rica en detalles, en matices y en sutilezas. Al igual que en Beloved, en su narración están presentes unas heroínas que rompen el molde: siempre hay mujeres dispuestas a todo con tal de [sobre]vivirse. Esto es lo que sucede con
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Beautifuly written....expected nothing less from Ms. Morrison 1 4 Mar 06, 2016 02:03PM  
What is Toni Morrison saying in Sula in this Passage? below. Please help I don't understand. 4 32 Jan 22, 2016 12:26PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Sula by Toni Morrison 3 42 Jul 25, 2015 11:04PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Sula by Toni Morrison 1 8 Jun 11, 2015 06:28PM  
Bitch Team Alpha ...: Sula 13 11 Apr 28, 2015 02:54PM  
Review of Sula 1 16 Nov 03, 2014 07:47PM  
  • The Best Way to Play: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3
  • Corregidora
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Short Stories
  • Mama Day
  • Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo
  • Praisesong for the Widow
  • The Salt Eaters
  • Moses, Man of the Mountain
  • The Blood of the Lamb
  • Uncle Tom's Children
  • Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8)
  • Going to Meet the Man
  • Our Nig
  • The Street
  • To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
More about Toni Morrison...

Share This Book

“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.” 479 likes
“Lonely, ain't it?
Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely.”
More quotes…