Sula is a very well-written book with beautifully woven plot lines. It’s about friendship. It’s about loss. It’s about mothers and daughters. It’s about Medallion. It’s about the Bottom in the hills. It’s about love and it’s about hate. It’s about how one woman and her impact on the whole community.
At first I was a bit confused at the lack of the title character. Then I realized, she’s setting out the different plot lines that will slowly be woven together. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this. It starts before Sula’s birth and ends well after Sula’s death. The backgrounds and descriptions of so many different people and places is amazing and helps you to visualize what’s going on and gives you a much better idea of why they act the way they do.
I loved the “Ah ha!” moment I had after Sula’s death. The people who were so glad to see her dead, so glad that she was no longer a part of their lives, didn’t realize how much they needed her. She brought them all together. Their hatred of her made them better mothers, fathers, children, lovers.
And then there’s Nel. It’s amazing how it takes her the whole book to realize how much Sula meant to her. That she was her other half. It’s not often you find someone who is your balance, your other half, the person that fully completes and understands you. It’s not always the person you think it is. In the end, when her marriage ended, she didn’t lose her husband as much as she lost her other half.
I am so glad I listened to this book. Yes, I got the CDs out from the library. I read (sort of) Tar Baby in college, but I didn’t quite understand it. Now after listening to Sula, I really want to read and listen to more of Toni Morrison’s books. I may even go back and read/listen to Tar Baby.
Winter Book Challenge: Read a book by an author from your state, a state where you have lived, or a state where you would like to live