Toni Morrison’s Home is not just a fictional story. It’s a universal tale for today’s soldier. New York Times columnist Michiko Kakutani compares Home, Toni Morrison’s latest book to Morrison’s earlier works. Kakutani writes, “Home” encapsulates all the themes that have fueled her fiction, from the early novels “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye,” through her dazzling masterwork, “Beloved,” and more recent, less persuasive books like “Love” and “Paradise”: the hold that time past exerts over time present, the hazards of love (and its link to leaving and loss), the possibility of redemption and transcendence. Morrison fans will probably agree.
Those who have not read earlier Morrison may experience some malady. Please just accept Morrison expertly paints her portrayal of humanity’s inhumanities inflicted on the Money family. They are burdens we turn away from everyday to get to the office or wherever we are going. Today, you don’t have to look too far to see universal truths in this fictional work.
This novel truly imitates life in some of the most haunting ways. Morrison’s characters struggles resonates in the core of our memories shading our past until we decide on intimacy. Most of us know consider it the rite of passage we adults cling to carving out our space in this world. Morrison skillfully tugs on those common threads strung through our hearts which held us up as we grew up, left home, and returned expecting some familiarity. But things are never quite the same. Time has a way of eroding our memories in a manner that will never suffice our impish tendencies to not see the reality of a world that protected or harmed us.
Things were no different for Frank Money. His choices were limited by circumstances beyond his control. It was not possible for him to choose his birth origins. Nor was it within his purvue to control the ignorance that plagued social castes in his hometown Lotus, Georgia. So Money toiled away at life under the burden of prejudices and looming poverty until he decided to forge his own destination. He chooses the army. It was a road of carnage and destruction that haunted him into his civilian life. Freedom and peace managed to elude Money at every turn.
Morrison’s characters deliver a tale that masterfully depicts life’s disappointments transcending race, cultural, and economical standing. Home is a gripping story which straddles the lifeline of anyone who survived tragedy and lived to tell the story. Sadly enough, Home’s tenacity grabs you by the throat until you wrestle your emotions away. It does so because thousands of soldiers live this story in a land that promises more. They may not all have Money’s story. Unfortunately, they just have their own.