My first Orange Wednesday choice back in April was Love by Toni Morrison, and having enjoyed it so much I was keen to seek out her other title from the list - Paradise. Fiona from Vintage Books very kindly sent me a copy to read.
Paradise is a commanding piece of literature in terms of structure, story, themes and the writing. It tells the story of a black town called Ruby, Oklahoma, the only black town in the state which was founded in the 1940s. But the attempt to make a life following the emergence from slavery was not as easy as it seemed on the surface. When the town begins to suffer internal divisions, a cause is sought, and found in "The convent", a group of four women who live nearby to the town. The story is cleverly told through eight chapters, each with a woman's name (although not necessarily about that woman), and each chapter builds up another layer of the story.
It required a lot of attention to read this book as there was so much going on and to take in - it was really necessary to engage with it, but it did repay the effort. For that reason I didn't enjoy it quite so much as Love but I would certainly recommend it to all those interested in reading great women's writers.
I love books, baking and my boyfriend, and love to write about the first two. I particular love "forgotten" books, books brought out of obscurity by republication and those still languishing in obscurity. I'm currently reading my way through all of the Virago Modern Classics, but taking in other books along the way.