Author: Toni Morrison
Pages (paperback): 174 pages
Original Publishing Date: November 1973
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“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 rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
- description of burns
Representation in the novel:
- cast of black characters (most, if not all, the main characters and “important” side characters are black)
- black girl/woman main characters
- black love interests
My thoughts on this book can be summed up with my last goodreads note about it.
Seriously, I do not know what to even think. As you could see from above, it is a short book, less than 200 pages, but it packs a punch. The reader becomes intersted in the characters pretty quickly; one may not exactly love them, but they are intriguing enought that one wants to see what happens next. I also really enjoy novels that not only skip years, but go through an entire lifespan, and Sula delivers as it follows Sula and Nell, the main characters. I do want to point out, though, that I was serious about not grasping everything. There is a bunch of literary merits that I missed for sure, and I do not want to say that I have a comprehensive grasp on the book.
Anyway, moving on. Sula takes place across a good portion of the 20th century in the small town of Bottom, in Ohio. Beginning in 1919, the book ends almost fifty years later, in 1965. It follows two girls, Sula and Nell, as I said earlier. They are two young childhood friends who, as they grow older, go their separate ways. However, life brings them back together years later. But is the ultimate betrayal enough to push these two women away from each other forever? Sula delves into friendship, identity, and community in a way that sucks the reader in and does not let go until they finish the very last page.
I am not going to lie: I am having a really hard time articulating myself throughout this review. I just…do not know what to say? This was a wonderful book, and it kept me interested and engaged. The writing is simply beautiful. But I do not know what made me interested in particular, if that makes sense. I think that is where reading it a second time comes in.
I dunno, bottom line is, I liked reading it; y’all should read it; and it is actually a book that is deserving of the title “classic.” We good? We good. Good day.