Reviews for Home


Booklist Reviews 2012 March #2
*Starred Review* The Korean conflict is over, and soldier Frank Money has returned to the States with a disturbed psyche that sends him beyond anger into actually acting out his rage. From the mental ward in which he has been incarcerated for an incident he can't even remember, he determines that he must escape. He needs to get to Atlanta to attend to his gravely ill sister and take her back to their Georgia hometown of Lotus, which, although Frank realizes a return there is necessary for his sister's sake, remains a detestable place in his mind. Morrison's taut, lacerating novel observes, through the struggles of Frank to move heaven and earth to reach and save his little sister, how a damaged man can gather the fortitude to clear his mind of war's horror and face his own part in that horror, leave the long-term anger he feels toward his hometown aside, and take responsibility for his own life as well as hers. With the economical presentation of a short story, the rhythms and cadence of a poem, and the total embrace and resonance of a novel, Morrison, one of our national literary treasures, continues to marshal her considerable talents to draw a deeply moving narrative and draw in a wide range of appreciative readers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A quarter-million print run is the surest indication that the publisher is confident that a new Morrison novel is bound to be a big hit. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2012 May
Toni Morrison returns with darkness and light

Toni Morrison has more than 15 literary awards to her name, including both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize. This goes a long way toward explaining why, rather than comparing her to other authors, Morrison is measured against herself. It is understood that a Toni Morrison novel will challenge and humble its readers in terms of content, language and scope, so the real question when picking up her newest novel is never “Will this be a good book?” but rather, “Will this book be as good as all her others?”

When it comes to Home, Morrison’s 10th novel, the short answer is a clear “yes.” This is a very good book that easily takes its place in Morrison’s canon. Although the writing feels somewhat stripped down, the story itself is ambitious and vital, belying the small size of the book itself.

Home is largely the story of Frank Money, who left behind both the safety and the shackles of small-town Lotus, Georgia, by enlisting to fight in Korea, vowing never to return. Alas, the horrors of war leave Frank shell-shocked and bruised, a shadow of his former self. With whiskey and the comfort of a woman named Lily, Frank manages to keep his misery at bay, but these things offer temporary relief. It is only when he receives word that his little sister Cee is dying, having suffered at the hands of a eugenics-obsessed doctor, that Frank finally musters up the courage to return to the place he once called home, where his true healing can begin.

In many ways, Home touches on themes and ideas that have formed the backbone of Morrison’s previous works, namely the search for identity and community as framed in the historic context of the black American experience. Life is rarely kind to Frank, Cee and Lily, yet Home is still an immensely compassionate n[Thu Aug 21 16:04:00 2014] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249. arrative that speaks to the unrelenting resilience of the human spirit. Morrison’s characters are frequently bloodied and bruised, but they are never fully broken. If there is one thing Morrison has mastered in her 40 years of writing books, it’s how to pack a punch so hard your lungs crumple. Excruciating in the moment, the next breath you take is all the sweeter for it. It’s these juxtapositions of sadness and joy, despair and hope, darkness and light, that ultimately make Home such a visceral read.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
A deceptively rich and cumulatively powerful novel. At the outset, this might seem like minor Morrison (A Mercy, 2008, etc.), not only because its length is borderline novella, but because the setup seems generic. A black soldier returns from the Korean War, where he faces a rocky re-entry, succumbing to alcoholism and suffering from what would subsequently be termed PTSD. Yet perhaps, as someone tells him, his major problem is the culture to which he returns: "An integrated army is integrated misery. You all go fight, come back, they treat you like dogs. Change that. They treat dogs better." Ultimately, the latest from the Nobel Prize–winning novelist has something more subtle and shattering to offer than such social polemics. As the novel progresses, it becomes less specifically about the troubled soldier and as much about the sister he left behind in Georgia, who was married and deserted young, and who has fallen into the employ of a doctor whose mysterious experiments threaten her life. And, even more crucially, it's about the relationship between the brother and his younger sister, which changes significantly after his return home, as both of them undergo significant transformations. "She was a shadow for most of my life, a presence marking its own absence, or maybe mine," thinks the soldier. He discovers that "while his devotion shielded her, it did not strengthen her." As his sister is becoming a woman who can stand on her own, her brother ultimately comes to terms with dark truths and deep pain that he had attempted to numb with alcohol. Before they achieve an epiphany that is mutually redemptive, even the earlier reference to "dogs" reveals itself as more than gratuitous. A novel that illuminates truths that its characters may not be capable of articulating. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2011 December #1

Frank Money was damaged emotionally as well as physically while fighting in Korea, then returns home to an America as racist as ever. What saves him from utter despair is the need to rescue his equally damaged sister and bring her back to their small Georgia town, a place he has always despised. But thinking over the past both near (the war) and far (his childhood) allows him to rediscover his sense of purpose. At 160 pages, this is not a big brass band of a novel but a chamber work, effectively telescoping Morrison's passion and lush language.

[Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 March #4

In Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winner Morrison's immaculate new novel (after A Mercy), Frank Money returns from the horrors of the Korean War to an America that's just as poor and just as racist as the country he fled. Frank's only remaining connection to home is his troubled younger sister, Cee, "the first person ever took responsibility for," but he doesn't know where she is. In the opening pages of the book, he receives a letter from a friend of Cee's stating, "Come fast. She be dead if you tarry." Thus begins his quest to save his sister--and to find peace in a town he loathed as a child: Lotus, Ga., the "worst place in the world, worse than any battlefield." Told in alternating third- and first-person narration, with Frank advising and, from time to time, correcting the person writing down his life story, the novel's opening scene describes horses mating, "heir raised hooves crashing and striking, their manes tossing back from wild white eyes," as one field over, the bodies of African-American men who were forced to fight to the death are buried: "...whatever you think and whatever you write down, know this: I really forgot about the burial. I only remembered the horses. They were so beautiful. So brutal." Beautiful, brutal, as is Morrison's perfect prose. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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