Sula by Toni Morrison (BEDA #6)

First published in 1973, Sula tells the story of a town called Medallion, it’s inhabitants and the events that take place there over a number of years, concentrating specifically on the friendship of Nel and Sula.

This book is one of the books on my university reading list and it is only 174 pages long so I thought I’d pick it up during the 7 in 7 Readathon as it is a pretty short novel.

The writing in this was exquisite; some of the descriptions were very lyrical and really conjured the image in my mind whilst I was reading. Morrison has a way of writing that is almost brutally honest in places but somehow still beautiful to read and quick to get through.

I found that I disliked every single character in this book, there was not one that I liked or could connect to. Everyone seemed to have some major flaws that made them difficult to relate to in many ways so I sometimes found myself not really caring about them when bad things happened.

The themes and issues that this book discusses, such as motherhood, oppression, inequality, racism, sexism and death, are very deep at points and obviously important issues to talk about but at some points I felt like maybe the author was a little heavy-handed and the themes seemed to be repeated and sometimes just felt a little forced within the story, however some points were really well formed and expressed and the book really made me think about what it must have been like to live in this era in a place so steeped in racial and sexual inequality.

Overall, I liked this read but I wouldn’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone that hasn’t read it because I think it is an important read and something that is quick to get through but it hasn’t inspired me to pick up more of Morrison’s work unfortunately.


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