A Novel

Morrison, Toni

Book - 2004
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before.

Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2004
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 1400033411
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC M
Characteristics: xix, 321 p. ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

The story of ex-slave Sethe, haunted by the ghost of her murdered child, in a rich complex novel of slavery, love, and the triumph of the human spirit.

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Jul 05, 2014
  • cfogarty66 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If you like Beloved, you read the The Bluest Eyes!

Jun 17, 2014
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was a complex novel, as it bridges the years when slave-holding was legal in America to the decade after the outlawing of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment. We meet slaves, slave-holders, people helping slaves cross the Ohio River into free-state Ohio, bounty hunters pursuing slaves in free-state Ohio, and also former slaves, years after the granting of their freedom. The novel bounces back-and-forth across the border and also across time, so the reader has the task of trying to keep track of why the author sequences the events as she does. But this is her masterpiece and she is a Nobel Prize winner and she is at the top of her game in this work. Readers still argue today, was infanticide the best option for one of the protagonists of the novel?

Mar 04, 2014

This book is about the repercussions of slavery for the people who survived it and features a terrifying baby ghost. Morrison is an amazing, evocative writer.

Dec 05, 2013
  • EuSei rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

In this book, a slave woman kills her daughter so she will avoid slavery. I believe Albert Murray (according to Edwin Yoder) has the best definition of this book: “the idea, though inspired by an actual event, was beyond silly. Whatever the evils of slavery, death was worse, and infanticide, after all, was a grave crime.” (For the ones who still don’t know, Mr. Murray was a black man; he died August 2013.) PS: Attempts to censor my comments will be fiercely fought under the aegis of American Library Association's beloved principles: Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Read, Intellectual Freedom.

Jan 31, 2013
  • JSx rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There are a lot of references to biblical stories in Revelation, I don't think anyone has noticed that.

Dec 27, 2012
  • areidc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a profound work on many levels. I'm guessing that because it is so many things, I don't usually hear people talk about it as one of the best ghost stories out there. Morrison sets the stage where the living, the dead and all that is in-the-between interact. They hate, harass, molest, soothe, inspire and love one another. Morrison is recognized as being a master of the five senses; however, it’s how she inspires that illusive sixth sense which makes her writing so phenomenal. Take your it a textbook or a Bible. That's an issue of semantics as far as I'm concerned. Whatever you call it, Beloved is a masterpiece of Magical Realism.

Mar 01, 2012
  • VIRNET36 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

This is absolutely the strangest story I have ever read. I've also seen the movie and I don't get it.

Jan 13, 2012

I read this for my American Literature class this past year. Utterly genius. The way Morrison writes about slavery using clever metaphors and symbolism blows my mind.

Aug 08, 2010
  • galenbaby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The smartest and most imaginative exploration of slavery ever written. Toni Morrison is a complete genius for writing this book.

Jan 01, 2010
  • macierules rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Stories of slavery are always horrifying to me; this one is more gut-wrenching than them all.

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Jun 10, 2014
  • knitty78 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

knitty78 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Sep 26, 2013
  • EuSei rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Sep 24, 2012

Violence: Rape. Extreme violence.

Sep 24, 2012

Sexual Content: Oral sex, incest


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