The Real African|| By Dumani Mandela
Home by Toni Morrison is a well-crafted and well thought out mini novel.
This was the first time I was reading an Afro American novelist and did not know what to expect and to tell the truth I was pleasantly surprised at richness of the story and the well thought out plot and development of the story in such a short format. Toni Morrison is a truly gifted storyteller and is able to draw the reader to the full emotional experiences of her characters.
Although the book is a short novel, it is not easy reading, as there is so much of the story packed within a short amount of pages.
The story is about Frank a soldier whom comes back from his station in South Korea during World War II a changed man. During World War II both Frank’s childhood friends meet their early demise in the war. Their deaths leave deep psychological scars on Frank the main character. The book starts off with Frank the main character escaping for a mental institution in the dead of winter with no shoes after he had been admitted for an event that he does not recollect. The story is told from the perspective of the main characters in the book, Frank, his sister, Frank’s girlfriend, their step grandmother and of course the narrator.
Upon his escape from the mental institution Frank must travel down South to collect his sister whom has been maimed by a doctor whom she works for through him performing medical experiments on her. Frank leaves behind his girlfriend whom has been his source of healing in search of his sick sister.
He eventually finds his sister and brings her back to their childhood community for her to be healed by the women in the community. It is through one another that Frank and his sister’s character in the book are redeemed through the love they have for one another and also through the rediscovery of their strong community. The story is one of perseverance and healing of the human soul through others.
Some aspects of the story remind me of the South African principle of Ubuntu in that: a person is a person through others.
The story Home is deeply engrossing and holds itself as a testament to the genius of Toni Morrison and her story telling abilities. She is both talented and authentic in her writing and weaves a beautiful story within her 145-page novel. Although one can finish the book in a single seating I would suggest that one take their time with this masterful short novel.
The book Home comes highly recommended from the Real African writers desk and is a must have for those whom enjoy short novels.