Now I've read her latest novel, Home, and this slim (150 pages) little book covers a lot of territory in a very short space: we have a black Korean War vet returning to the States to face racism and difficult personal history; we have the woman he meets and falls in love with; we have some family history, especially about his nasty grandmother Lenore; and we have his hapless sister, Cee, who falls into the clutches of a white doctor who's studying eugenics.
That's a whole lot of stuff going on in 150 pages.
I suspect there's a lot of symbolism going on, and maybe the creation of a parable. The soldier, Frank Money (yes!), and his sister hate the town where they grew up, and they go out into the bigger world where they experience a lot of hurt. It's only when they return home that they can confront the pain the bigger world has caused them--and they've caused others--and begin to heal.
For me, whereas I thought most of Beloved was paced just right except for the rushed ending, this whole book felt rushed. It has none of the depth and exploration of Beloved. We're just handed these characters and situations and whoosh, we're at the end. These are significant events with significant consequences--I think I would have happily read the same story at four times the current length. But the shortness of it kept me at arm's reach; just when I was getting interested and concerned for one character, we zipped off to read another's story, and the main plot points occur so quickly and then are past, I barely had time to consider them and feel an emotional response.
But I hear I should read Sula and Song of Solomon. Thoughts from more experienced Toni Morrison readers?