Jul 19, 2020Irzabeta rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Prior to this book, I had only read one other work by Toni Morrison and that was Beloved. Beloved is a story that can leave you scarred (if you've read it, then you'll know what I mean.) So I was a bit nervous about reading Song of Solomon. In the end, I'm glad I did as I was flipping the pages so fast as I headed towards the end. I had to know what happened.
Song of Solomon follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead III from his birth in the 1930s to young manhood in the early 1960s. We watch as he interacts with his family, learns the secrets of his best friend Guitar and confronts the mysteries surrounding his father's origins. All of the characters are black and race is one of the themes of this book. It's a relevant book for our times and there were a number of conversations that sounded like something I had just heard a few days before. A reminder of how many things have not changed.
However, one thing surprised me. I think that I have become so in awe of Toni Morrison that I didn't realize how good of a storyteller she is. I loved the exploration of the relationships in this book. I loved how multi-faceted the characters were. I think I only liked one character, but I was interested in what happened to all of them.
One final note. The characters with the most "screen time" in this book are all male. Morrison states in the preface that writing from the male perspective was new for her. I think she does a great job, but I still felt that the most powerful and memorable characters were the females. In particular, Milkman's aunt Pilate really steals the show. And the the sole scene in which Milkman's sister Lena finally speaks and reveals her point of view....wow.