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[Fri May 24 19:26:50 2013] 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.
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.
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