Beloved – Toni Morrison

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‘Beloved’ is the story of a woman haunted by the ghost of her baby. Set in post-Civil war Ohio it is the story of how former slaves,  psychically and emotionally crippled by years of labour, attempt to deal with their past. 

I found the first half of the book very slow. It was confusing, as it skipped around so much, and as I didn’t have a clue what was happening, it had no forward momentum. I found certain aspects of it the book very irritating. Why did there have to be 3 characters called Paul? Why was the Grandma also called a baby?  And why did all the female characters seem to have male names? This all increasing my frustration with the book.  

The second half was much better. I began to work out what was happening, and could cope with the changing of narrator/time period. As it neared the end I was totally hooked. Some scenes were very moving, and will stay with me for a long time. 


Recommended, if you’re able to get past the first 100 pages. 





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  1. Rebecca Reid says:

    Oh I love the first 100 pages! but I love it all. I think what I loved was how I HAD to figure it out as I went along. I didn’t know why things were as they were but as I read it began to make sense. And the names thing makes it real. The Paul’s were named by their “owner” so they didn’t have much choice, and I loved reading Baby’s explanation for why her name was Baby: that was all her husband called her.

    I just reread it after five years and it was all rather new to me: even though I knew what was coming, it was so amazing to watch it unfold once again.

    I know you don’t reread books and some books are not for some people, but since I love this book so much, I thought I’d come and try to convince you how great it is…

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, This was one of my first reviews on my blog – please forgive it! I really need to re-write this review, as I now realise how amazing this book is. I was so disappointed after reading it for the first time, but have since gone on to read the study guide for it and have had a lot more time to think about it.

      This is a book that needs to be re-read and I’m sure that if I picked it up again I would love it even more. Even without the re-read I have grown to love this book. It is so powerful and deserves a much higher rating than I gave it initially. Thank you for trying to persuade me of it’s beauty – I am now aware of it!


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