Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2006
Morrison is such a masterful author. Her novels always have a force behind it that draws the reader in and makes sure that you understand the various points of view. We first see Valerian's point of view, and we agree with him. Then we see Margaret's point of view and we agree with her also, although Valerian and Margaret are arguing with each other. This is how Morrison brings a story to life, using recursive narration to move forward and back in time regardless of the time period that the novel is currently in. One minute we are looking at Valerian and his past, the next we are looking at Margaret until it catches up to the present storyline and then advances further, which allows us to understand how and why each character acts the way that they do. Simply masterful.

What is even more masterful is Morrison's ability to articulate the struggle between races, but more importantly the struggle that black people go through. Should one embrace their past and their culture as Son does, even though it means living in squalor and primitive ways? Or should one educate themselves and try to make their lives better as Jadine does? The struggle is huge, and this is what adds the powerful flavor to the story. Ultimately, it is the side of Jadine that wins over, I believe, the side that no longer blames the white man and "his" culture, but rather embraces her culture and attempts to further herself, as a black woman, rather than let the past weigh her down and prevent her from bettering herself.

A poignant novel, of which I would expect nothing less from Morrison. A definite recommend, not only the book but any of her books.

5 stars.
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