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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and Compelling Masterpiece
Toni Morrison's second book, Sula, is a short beautifully written story about the nature of freedom in early and mid-century america: the nature of freedom , that is, for an African-American woman. In subtle and powerful ways Morrison shows how racism and sexism shape the roles and possibilities of female blacks in america. She shows how women bear these roles, and faced...
Published on March 20 2007 by E. Haensel

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much narrative
This is the first Morrison book I read, found it in the bookstore and figured I'd give it a try.

I was a little disappointed in it as she's an award-winning author and a paragon of American literature. It hasn't put me off trying some of her other books, but I didn't really connect with the characters, and I attribute that more to the writing style than the...
Published 3 months ago by Nicole Chardenet


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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much narrative, Jan. 7 2014
By 
Nicole Chardenet "HumourFicChick" (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sula (Paperback)
This is the first Morrison book I read, found it in the bookstore and figured I'd give it a try.

I was a little disappointed in it as she's an award-winning author and a paragon of American literature. It hasn't put me off trying some of her other books, but I didn't really connect with the characters, and I attribute that more to the writing style than the fact that I did not grow up poor and black in pre-civil-rights America. There's just way, way too much telling and not enough showing. Not a lot of dialogue. Isn't "show, don't tell" a cardinal rule of writing? I'm okay with telling up to a point but this really came across as a bit amateurish in my opinion.

The setup for the friendship between Sula and Nel is good, and I agree that what Sula does to Nel later in life would likely split them up as friends, but I never connected with the angry feelings Nel should have had.

I'll try you again, Ms. Morrison. One unmoving book does not a reputation make.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 I've Read Better Morrison, Feb. 8 2008
By 
Teddy (Richmond, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sula (Paperback)
This is the story of two black girls, Sula and Nel who become the best of friends in 1973 small town in Ohio. It is both a coming of age story and the trials and tribulations of adulthood, with little opportunity. Both women follow different paths but eventually converge.

I have heard so many wonderful things about this little book that I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I read Morrison's The Bluest Eye for a women's studies course in university years ago and really got a lot out of it, so I was quite hopeful with Sula.

What I got, was what seemed like stereotyping. It seemed like Morrison was almost poking fun at her own culture. While the reader new what was happening, the story seemed to be intentionally confusing and ambiguous.

From the description on the back cover of this book, it says:
"Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black women in America"

Granted, this book was written in 1973, but I pray that this does not define "what it means" to be a black woman anywhere!

I won't go as far as saying that this book is a waste of time. I wouldn't have finished reading it if I thought it was, but Morrison can and has done better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and Compelling Masterpiece, March 20 2007
By 
E. Haensel (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sula (Paperback)
Toni Morrison's second book, Sula, is a short beautifully written story about the nature of freedom in early and mid-century america: the nature of freedom , that is, for an African-American woman. In subtle and powerful ways Morrison shows how racism and sexism shape the roles and possibilities of female blacks in america. She shows how women bear these roles, and faced with no other option, live with a grace and dignified quietism.

In to the midst of this she introduces the character of Sula, easily one of the most memorable characters every to grace the pages of an American novel. Sula lives for herself, to find herself, to be herself; and it turns everything on its head.

The novel is lighter in tone than some of Morrison's later masterpieces and yet with stunning economy of language and unforgetable characters she creates a full and challenging portrait of a community that is both a pleasure to read and unforgetable.

If you haven't read Morrison, this is probably the best place to start. If you have, then this is another wonderful novel, easily one of her best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Heartfelt Novel, June 14 2004
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
I read this novel for my AP English class and I was glad I did. This novel blurs the lines between conventional good and evil. Sula is supposed to the evil one and Nel the good but their actions sometimes do quite the opposite. For example, Sula killed a boy (evil) but did it by accident when she was playing with him so he wouldn't be lonely (good), for Nel just wanted him to go away (evil). When Sula realized she had killed him, she was broken-hearted (good) but Nel didn't care about it except for the fact that someone might have seen them (evil). Yes it might seem that I am painting Sula to be a good person but she isn't for she did sleep with her best friend's husband. Sula kept the town together for without the bad example of her ways, wives neglected husbands and mothers neglected children.
One theme is of a mother's love but in this way too, Morrison blurs the line. Eve cut off her leg to raise money to care for her children and she jumped out a window to save her burning daugther, yet killed her son, Plum, when she realized his drug addiction was turning him into a child again.
This novel will make you think. It's packed with irony, symbolism, and many themes. A sad one being why a town is called "The Bottom" when it is in reality on top of a hill. This is a heartfelt story of two young women who grow up with different backgrounds, coming together out of necessity. Sula is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and feel confused with your emotions. Its a wonderful book and I wish it hadn't ended so quickly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sula, May 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Sula (Audio Cassette)
I believe that this book really shows Toni Morrison's genius because she is able to combine several different themes into one book without it becoming confusing. I also like how she has main character for chapters, but gives justice to Sula throughout the book. I enjoyed how the book was metaphorical because it put importance on the different aspects of the book; like the characters, the role of religion, and the community as a whole. I truly enjoyed this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Twisted, April 30 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
You can always depend on Ms. Morrison for unusual twists and turns. This novel was interesting, moreso for its poetic style than for the plot. You almost dreaded to know what would happen next. The ending was abrupt so say the least. I felt that there could have been much more to the story. Sula with a child maybe? Something. All in all still a decent book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, April 25 2004
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
POSSIBLE SPOILERS
This is the fourth book I've read from Toni Morrison (previous ones I've read were Paradise, Beloved, Song of Solomon). It's a great book about a story of two friends, Nel and Sula who go their separate ways after Nel's wedding and reunite after 10 years. I liked the book but I was a little disgusted on how Morrison likes to write about character's bodily functions in gory detail, which I deducted one star from the 5 star rating...hence the 4 star rating. Still, it's a good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book!!, April 19 2004
By 
"margenuzz" (Massapequa, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
I belong to a book club. This was one of the books selected. I was a bit skeptical at first. I can say that this was my favorite book that I have read in the club. We have read over 30 books so far and I am so glad someone picked this one. This is a treasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sula, Feb. 18 2004
By 
Salvatore Ruggiero "vatore" (Ithaca, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
Toni Morrison's second novel, "Sula", is a wonderful piece of artwork that spans many decades, revealing the growth of the African-American society and the sentiments felt by those who have observed it.
"Sula" is like a duel novel, where we are told the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace. They are women separated by differing outlooks on life and then reunited when they feel middle age.
Nel is our flat character, the one who remains the same; she is the "sensible" one, where she stays in her hometown and does what every African-American woman is doing at the time, being subservient to the rest of society.
Sula, however, is our tragic figure, the one who goes out to receive an education, who betters herself and refuses to see the gates that whites and blacks have put up for her.
It is a moving and powerful story, where there are so many vivid moments that make you want to cringe, to vomit (e.g. Sula slicing her finger), but this only adds to the splendor and magic of this novel. Although this is definitely not an original idea, for Nella Larsen did it in her novel "Passing", Morrison is working with controversial subject matter, and it is amazing to see her succeed at it.
"Sula" is a mini-epic that is bound to move the reader at the power of friendship and the bonds that these women share, even through the trials and tribulations of mid-twentieth century life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Her Best, Feb. 7 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Sula Oprah Number 36 (Paperback)
This is Toni Morrison's best book, and I've read all of them. It's also the best book I've ever read about female friendship. Thanks Ms. Morrison for a book I've savored all my life.
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Sula by Toni Morrison (Paperback - March 29 2002)
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