Not too much to say about this one except every word just drips with rawness.
The question is what would you do? Would you do as Sethe did? Would you have done something differently? I can’t imagine being owned by someone. I can’t imagine my body not being mine to command. I can’t imagine my children being someone else’s property.
“Beloved” follows Sethe, a former slave that managed to escape to Ohio more than a decade ago. However, Sethe is haunted by the choices she makes and in the end, her choice comes back to haunt her not only mentally, but physically. We see how Sethe’s family has splintered until there is no one left but her and her daughter Denver. And then a former slave, Paul D that Sethe knows comes back and it appears she may find love, but something out there wants to keep her from being happy, from forgetting.
“Beloved” is probably the best ghost story I have read in some time. I was floored by it. I was also floored by Morrison’s writing and some of the scenes we get. Warning there are some very graphic scenes in this one.
Sethe and Denver made my heart ache. We find out that the haunting that appears to live in their house has caused two of Sethe’s sons to leave home. So it’s just these two women left who are all each other has. This book really is about mothers. We read about Baby Suggs (Sethe’s mother) who managed to pull the black community together and who in the end was just tired by everything and wanted to die.
Paul D really is the catalyst in this book. In the end I wondered if him coming along called out something in Denver or was it something else entirely?
The book takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio and we get many former slaves who don’t feel at home up north and still ache for their former places.
In the end, we have a beloved forgotten. Still wanting to be named. Still wanting to be loved.
FYI, I found out that this book was apparently inspired by the true story of Margaret Garner.