by Toni Morrison
I’ve had a look, both on Goodreads & the internet, & I can’t find the cover of my ebook edition. I just know it was published post 1993, because it contains the afterward written by Morrison then, in which she proves to be one of her most severe critics. Morrison thought that at the times she lacked the narrative skill to tell the story the way she wanted. I will respectfully disagree, as while Percola’s story is terrible in the sense of the almost unrelenting pain & bleakness, it is beautiful with Morrison’s gift of language & her ability to create believable characters. Percola’s story broke my heart.
Percola’s belief that she would be beautiful & loved if only she had blue eyes is heartbreaking. Unloved, unwanted & neglected, Percola based her idea of beauty on what she could see – the readers available at school featured white children, dolls were white dolls. Her friend Claudia had a totally different reaction to the white dolls, but Percola lacked the McTeer sisters’ toughness &, I would say, certainty of their place in the world. You never get the feeling that the end is going to be anything, but tragic for poor Percola & it is impossible not to be moved by her story.
Read with both Women’s Classic Literature Enthusiasts Group & the BLK Group June/July Reading Challenge on Goodreads.