HijabiMamaBabyPajama, March 2, 2009 (view all comments by HijabiMamaBabyPajama)
This story follows two migrations- one migration of a group of black families of pure heritage who establish (not once, but twice) an all black town for their families alone, and one migration of the women of various races who come one at a time to leave behind lives of pain and live together at the "convent," which is not what its religious title implies. These coexist side by side until the men of the town decide that these women are poisoning their paradise and that there is no choice but to remove them. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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Beriah, August 2, 2007 (view all comments by Beriah)
From the onset this novel is enthralling! As usual Morrison creates imperfect, but loveable characters who interact in a way that raises important racial, political, social, religious, and gender issues. Dropping the reader into the future she then backtracks in order to tell how things could have gotten so far out of hand. I find it almost impossible to rank Morrison's novels with one another, since they are all above the majority of novels by other authors. However, I would rank Paradise pretty high--just under Beloved. I know she was given the Nobel Prize, but I wish we could distinguish her further feeling as I do that her works surpass many of the others even in that lofty crowd.
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by Kirkus Reviews,
"...Morrison's rich, symphonic seventh novel...[is] not perfect — but a breathtaking, risk-taking work that will have readers feverishly, and fearfully, turning the pages."
by Los Angeles Times,
"It is a fascinating story, wonderfully detailed by Morrison's shrewd and vivid portraits of Ruby's citizens and forebears."
by The New Yorker,
"Paradise is the strangest and most original book that Morrison has written...."
"They shoot the white girl first. With the others they can take their time." Toni Morrison's first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature opens with a horrifying scene of mob violence then chronicles its genesis in a small all-black town in rural Oklahoma. Founded by descendants of free slaves as intent on isolating themselves from the outside world as it once was on rejecting them, the patriarchal community of Ruby is built on righteousness, rigidly enforced moral law, and fear. But seventeen miles away, another group of exiles has gathered in a promised land of their own. And it is upon these women in flight from death and despair that nine male citizens of Ruby will lay their pain, their terror, and their murderous rage...
Paradise is a tour de force of storytelling power, richly imagined and elegantly composed. Morrison challenges our most fiercely held beliefs as she weaves folklore and history, memory and myth, into an unforgettable meditation on race, religion, gender, and the way a society can turn on itself until it is forced to explode.
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