Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - Beloved

Author: Toni Morrison
Artwork copyright Touchstone Pictures — At the center of Toni Morrison's fifth novel, which earned her the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is an almost unspeakable act of horror and heroism: a woman brutally kills her infant daughter rather than allow her to be enslaved. The woman is Sethe, and the novel traces her journey from slavery to free...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780452280625
ISBN-10: 0452280621
Publication Date: 10/1/1998
Pages: 512
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 495 ratings
Publisher: Plume
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Beloved on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Reading Toni Morrison's books is not something for the faint of heart. Her literature requires the reader to work for it, to struggle through sometimes uncomfortable prose or through gut-wrenching scenarios within the larger story. But, at the end, you have earned that story...you have achieved something. And, I've found that people either can't stand her books, or they love her books. There isn't any real middle-ground. I am part of the latter group. And especially for this book. I re-read it every year, and it is still new and gripping and passionate and brilliant every time.
Page5 avatar reviewed Beloved on
Helpful Score: 6
I didn't care for this book and I couldn't summon up the desire to even finish reading it. Heavy use of symbolism. Incoherent and unrealistic at times. Perhaps the author did not intend for the book to be realistic but I believe it is important when you are representing an historical time period and the treatment of slaves. Completely turned me off reading anything else by Morrison.
reviewed Beloved on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book recently was rated the best book of American Fiction written in the past 25 years. It is not light reading, and I honestly found some of the parts hard to follow. Not for the squeemish reader either-there are themes of rape and violence that are truthful, yet horrid.
On the other side, it's a provocotive look at life for slaves after the emancipation and the way that grief and pain manifest themselves for one mother.
sari-lynn avatar reviewed Beloved on + 207 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Not the easiest read. In the beginning, I would have to keep going back to reread the previous page, to try to figure out what the author was trying to say. There's a lot to think about in this book. It was recently named the best American novel of the last 25 years. I'd say it's good, but not *that* good.
reviewed Beloved on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A complicated and painful book to read. I saw the movie before reading the book and think it might have been better the other way around.

It is a view of slavery that most whitefolk (of which I am one) don't want to remember and surely do not understand the depths of the depravity that the black people suffered at the white hands of our ancestors. I think that it would be a good book for high schoolers to read, even in class for discussion...this is information about an era in our country that people tend to gloss over. This book is not glossy.

A good read but be prepared to do the work of staying with the author and the characters...it's a bit of a challenge.
Read All 80 Book Reviews of "Beloved"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

Joynessdotcom avatar reviewed Beloved on + 53 more book reviews
I heartwrenching novel which gave insight to places I would never see, and a portrait of a time that has always been ignored or dismissed in American History. Toni Morrison's most praised novel has its position for a reason.
mywoodybird avatar reviewed Beloved on + 28 more book reviews
well written and plot was well thought out.
reviewed Beloved on
Toni Morrison is one author who understands the heart and soul of a woman. Beloved is a journey of a mother and daughter like no other you will ever read about. I loved this book and won't ever forget the images brought to mind....love, loss, yearning, loyalty, and the road to self-discovery found in the most unlikely places. Open this book!

Book Wiki

Awards and Honors


Want fewer ads?