TONI MORRISON’S “TAR BABY.”

Enthralling! Enchanting! Electrifying. Ms. Morrison’s “Tar Baby” is all of that and so much more. Set mainly on an island in the Caribbean, where a rich, retired candy manufacturer, has built a mansion high on top of a mountain where he lives with his young wife, thirty years younger than him, his butler Sydney and his wife and cook Ondine and occasionally their niece, Jadine, whom the butler and cook have raised since her mother died when she was very young. Jadine is beautiful and black like her uncle and aunt, Sydney and Ondine. She is a successful model who has lived in New York and Paris and around the world and has been extremely well educated and supported to a large extent by the candy manufacturer, Valerian, who treats her like his own child. Son, a back fugitive, enters the picture and is immediately welcomed by Valerian into his home, even though he is dirty, found sleeping in his wife’s closet, and has been stealing from the kitchen… All things known to the owner and the residents of the house.

Against this background, Ms. Morrison builds an explosive and revealing look at love, class warfare, bigotry, paternal mistreatment, and colonization. In many respects this extraordinary writer reminds me of Conrad, Baldwin, and the Bronte sisters. The realism she depicts is frightening. And on the other hand, she reminds me of Truman Capote and the way he was able to introduce mysticism and magic into his novels, while never scrolling too far from the truth. Ms. Morrison is an amazing talent, and “Tar Baby”is just another reminder of how great a talent she truly is.419IFV4+UoL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

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