I have never read a novel by Toni Morrison that wasn’t worth raving about. And yet, I have found that my favorites are not the same ones that get all the hype. Most of us have read, or at least heard of, The Bluest Eye and Beloved. But my favorites have tended to be Morrison’s lesser-known works, including Sula and Song of Solomon.
And Love falls in the latter category. Though not her most popular work, this might be one of Morrison’s best, in my humble opinion. On the surface, this is the story of a friendship between two women that has eroded over decades, but of course it is so much more than that. This novel really highlights the complex, unexpected, and shifting nature of love – of love between friends, between siblings, between lovers and spouses, between parents and children. And it’s about the impacts these relationships have on a community over time.
But what really amazes me about this novel is Toni Morrison’s incredible skill with subtly. Because when I’ve talked with others about this novel, the words “hate” and “anger” come far up far more frequently than “love” or “joy.” But without spoiling anything in the story, the final chapter starts to peel back the ways in which, throughout the entire novel, Morrison has been writing about love with great intention, subtlety, and scrutiny.
I am left thinking of all kinds of love, the way it changes over time, the power it has to hurt or heal. And what is more beautiful and memorable than a book that leaves you thinking about love?
Eager to read this one? Get the book from an independent bookshop HERE.