Book Review: Home by Toni Morrison


Frank Money couldn’t wait to leave his drab, little hometown of Lotus, Georgia. The Korean War gives him the opportunity to escape, along with his two best friends. His one regret is that he must leave his cherished little sister, Cee, whom he has always protected. His friends are killed in action and Frank returns to the States with PTSD.

Frank’s life no longer has purpose. He carries a secret guilt that no amount of drink will ease. An affair in which he barely participates ends badly. Nothing satisfies the emptiness he feels. But when he hears that Cee is critically ill and likely dying, he begins his long journey home.

The book’s chapters rotate with the various characters, but I never doubted whose voice I was reading, but rather found myself in the mindset and plight of the African American.

A novella, Home is packed with insights of the black man’s difficult situation in the segregated south. It talks of an era “that rich people called the Depression and they called life.” It also shows that even beaten and deprived, people can muster strength to help one another. Toni Morrison’s prose is flawless, without a wasted word. This is a deeply-felt story, one that I’ll carry with me for a long time.

Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and previously received the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

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