I have only ever given up on a very few books in my life. I am an English teacher. I pretty much love most books because all books are an expression oI have only ever given up on a very few books in my life. I am an English teacher. I pretty much love most books because all books are an expression of humanity and nothing human is foreign, etc. I really, really, really wanted to enjoy this book. I'd heard wonderful things about it. I was sad that I could not read it for a class because I didn't end up having to take an African-American Lit class for my requirements before I graduated.
So, I employed a friend to read it with me. We were both excited. This book is pretentious, confused, mismatched, and honestly just boring. The characters are very flat. They more feel like a collage of all former slaves or children of slaves put together to be a character in this book that doesn't REPRESENT the plight of former slaves in a racist world. This book simply shows off as the ONLY plight of the slave. It doesn't create unique individual characters and therefore, the plot just seems contrived. The absurdly lyrical style of writing seriously does not lend it self to magical realism or fantasy and definitely not to a slave novel.
That being said, we really struggled to figure out what the POINT of this book was. Why did Toni Morrison write this book in the 1980s? Was it to tell about slave life? Uncle Tom's Cabin does it better. Was it to be fantastical and beautiful? It does not match anything else in the book. It could be done way better and maybe I'd hate it less, but the lyrical nonsense clashes every few pages with the characters actually speaking.
At first I thought, maybe we are confused. No. I am giving myself more credit than that. This damn book is confused. ...more