“Her daughter was more comfort and purpose than she had ever hoped to find in this life.”
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: 1973 November
Rate: 4 stars
Sula and Nel are two young black girls: clever and poor. They grow up together sharing their secrets, dreams and happiness. Then Sula breaks free from their small-town community in the uplands of Ohio to roam the cities of America. When she returns ten years later much has changed. Including Nel, who now has a husband and three children. The friendship between the two women becomes strained and the whole town grows wary as Sula continues in her wayward, vagabond and uncompromising ways.
Toni Morrison done did it. Sula was our February book for #ReadingToni and what a delight! I read this book in two sittings. I found myself struggling with devouring this book and pacing myself to savor it. The former won.
Set in the years 1919- 1964, Sula riveting read. We follow Sula and Nel as they each find their footing and go through life in their own interpretations. Which is a story arc in itself. Toni Morrison explores complex female friendships in such a beautiful haunting way. I found myself awed. Toni Morrison has you questioning your view on relationships, both romantic, familial and platonic, in such a subtle way, I almost missed it.
The concept of identity and autonomy is something that plays out a lot throughout the book and it plays a big role in most of the characters choices and decisions.
“Nobody was minding us, so we minded ourselves.”
The characters are definitely the stars of this book. The things they do? The choices they make? Their interactions? My goodness I was shocked. I kid you not, mouth open kind of plot twists that if I hadn’t read for myself, I’d never believe it. My most memorable scenes are the burning alive, the world suicide day scenes and any part that Eva and Sula were in.
Sula is the most unlikable character ever but it’s the fact that she is brilliantly written I had no choice but to root for her; because I understand why she’s written the way she is. I still hate her though, just to be clear.
Sula is a short book that packs quite a punch. A coming of age book that goes to show you how relationships can shape you as a young person to an adult. I honestly can’t talk about Sula without spoiling it so do yourself a favor and read it. Definitely worth your time. I highly recommend.
Have you read Sula? What did you think about it?