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Book Review: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Again, I'm all sweaty.
Why do I always blog after I run?
     I'm going to name my next cat Toni.  I don't think I'll ever have time for children, but I'll always have time for cats, so I'll bless a cat with her holy name.
     The protagonist of Song of Solomon is Macon "Milkman" Dead, the son of the wealthiest Black man in his town.  His father, Macon Dead Sr., believes that money is freedom and nothing else matters, least of all family.  He hates his wife, disdains his daughters, and values his son only in that he hopes Milkman will carry on the family real estate business.  The family of Macon Sr.'s estranged sister, Pilate, is the polar opposite - there is no domineering patriarch, no money, and no interest appearing "decent." Pilate, her daughter Reba, and Reba's daughter Hagar run a winehouse.  Both Milkman and Hagar grow uncomfortable with their families and find an escape in each other.  But when Milkman finally puts a stop to their weird incestuous hookups, the families are brought together again, for better or for worse.
     Like any Toni Morrison novel, this one deals with racial inequality, gender inequality, and the screwed-up psychology of family life, all by inspecting the minute details of human relationships.  And of course, the language is stunning.
     I'd expected this book to be brilliant, and it was. Despite my high expectations, I am knocked flat each time I read another one of Morrison's books, and Song of Solomon was no exception.

     - Carly

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