Before all the Oprah hoopla and the big movie whoop-de-doo, I read this book for a creative writing class in college, and we were supposed to study Morrison’s intricate pattern of structure and characterization. Forget that! I was so wow-ed by the power and lyricism of the story that I finished the book long before anyone else and walked around in a stupor for days afterward. Beloved is the story of a female ex-slave, Sethe, who mourns the fact that she murdered her child in order to save the baby from a life of slavery. In fact, she mourns so much that her grief becomes manifest into a body of a young woman named Beloved–a ghost the same age that Sethe’s dead baby would have been had she lived. With powerful storytelling skills and flashbacks that are woven better than in Pulp Fiction, Morrison brings home the meaning of love, hope and pain all gift-wrapped in this little book.