Holy shit. This is a beautiful book that seems overlooked, a victim of its own success, relegated to the “assigned reading” category for kids and thus something non-students shy away from. The copy I read from the library was filled with nonsensical notes and underlines that I erased from the book before I read it (the pencil marks, at least—some moron used pen and highlighter to make erroneous notes deep in the novel).

The story revolves around Sethe, an escaped slave who makes a life for herself in Cincinnati with her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and her daughter Denver, along with the ghost of her murdered daughter, Beloved. Morrison expertly teases and weaves the prior story in with the current story, granting us glimpses of the horrors of slavery then fully revealing that Sethe sawed through Beloved’s neck as she was on the cusp of being captured, a month into her freedom.

Fantastic writing, pacing, and storytelling that shows us some of the horrors of our past. If you read this for a class, it’s time for a re-read to fully enjoy her talent.