So I have to admit that this was my first time ever reading Toni Morrison’s novel Sula. This rewarding piece has taken a place in my list of all time favorites and as short but intriguing as it was,I will be anticipating to re-read once again. As the storyline take place in the 1900s it reveals the factors faced as racism, colorism, southern culture, black family relationships, sexual and toxic relationships, abuse and womanhood. This fiction novel unravels a powerful story that is beautifully written with mysterious characters to bring it to life.
The reader is introduced to a small town known as the “The Bottom,” in Medilion Ohio, where if you were black this was your home whereas if you were white your home was in the “Valley’s.” What struck me as ironic in these locations were that “The Bottom” was located at the top of the hills but the lowest caste of people were restricted to that place. On the other hand you have the “Valley” located at the bottom of the hills where residing is whites only; of the preferred caste. Eventually, as the story plays, the white people begin to merge into “The bottom” and the low caste drifts out of their known town into the Valley. Other than the separation of locations based on race , we then begin to see the separation of a close but mysterious friendship in Nel and Sula. Who is Sula Peace? From a generational chain of peculiar women, Sula is untamed, misunderstood, cold and dark with an innocence and ability to love removed by hurtful words from the generations before her. Similar but yet different, is Nel Wright. She seems to be a bit more put together than Sula, experiencing love as her needs explores it but holds on to secrets that never sways her to do the right thing.
There is a strong mystery of death that captured my attention as I read through this novel. Morrison’s intuitive way of writing made you ask the question of “Why” when the deaths of certain characters occurred. My eyes went wide open and my heart fluttered a bit wondering if it was really a mistake when Sula swung the little boy into the river and let him drown, but then later on when his body was eventually found, unrecognizable, it was days later when it was notified to the family. If that wasn’t much on the mysterious side; when I wonder why Eva Peace murders her own son by fire, the portrayal of a grown man reverting back to a little boy plays off into the readers mind. This is why I give this novel five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Among other mysteries,Morrison knows what the reader wants next, she can sense it in her writing. She is a legend and blessing to not only the literary community but to every Woman of color as empowerment to be who you are and nothing less.