“It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth.”
Published: 1st June 1970
Rate: 5 stars
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways.
What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Toni Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.
Back in January I shared some reading challenges that I will be doing this year and ReadingToni is one of them. For January, we read The Bluest Eye and my goodness, what a book!
The Bluest Eye is a coming of age story that takes us through Pecola’s life and her yearning for blue eyes. Toni Morrison’s writing is brilliant! She writes in such a comprehensive way, a perfect mixture of showing and telling throughout the book. Pecola’s story is distressing and heartbreaking to read, you see the unravelling of child in a world that is set against her and it is harrowing.
“So when I think of autumn, I think of somebody with hands who does not want me to die.”
The story is told through the eyes of a child and there is a childlike innocence that permeates through and I think that this one of the thing that gives the book such a strong voice. The character development is really good and I appreciated seeing it, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. Toni Morrison is consistent with the pacing of this book and doesn’t let up at all, from the first page till the last. Listen, not a word was wasted!
The Bluest Eye is an evocative read. Gripping yet heart wrenching and between the pages is one amazing story that mirrors the world and it’s a tad bit scary. I highly, highly, recommend it.
Have you read The Bluest Eye? What did you think about it?