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by Toni Morrison (Random House) ISBN 9780701186074

 

As a big fan of the Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Price-winner Toni Morrison, I was excited to get hold of her newest book.

 

Morrison has succeeded, again, in creating a beautiful novel, or rather a novella with its 145 pages. It is rich in allegories and her sentences read like poetry. ‘The sun, try as she might, could not scorch the yellow butterflies away from scarlet rosebushes, nor choke the song of birds.’

 

Disturbing memories of the Korean War haunt 24-year-old veteran Frank Money, a year after his return. The atrocities of the war and the death of two of his hometown friends are the reason he is now almost homeless and nearly losing his sanity. His girlfriend, Lily never asked about the war and he has never brought it up.

 

Everything changes when he gets a note that his beloved sister, who ran off with ‘that waste of the Lord’s air and time,’ is very sick. ‘Come fast. She be dead if you tarry,’ her friend writes. He returns to his birthplace Lotus in Georgia, despite his vow never to go back after an unhappy childhood.

 

In Lotus, ‘the worst place in the world, worse than any battlefield,’ he tries to come to terms with his past.

 

Pauline Vijverberg

5/5

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