is a 1987 novel
by Toni Morrison
. It is about the escape from slavery
in the South
of a woman, Sethe, with her children to the home of her freed mother-in-law
Baby Suggs in Ohio
, and their lives there. Two sons have grown up and disappeared, but youngest daughter
Denver is in her late teens and still with her mother
memories come back in human form. First Paul D, who Sethe knows from her days on the plantation, and then a young woman known only as Beloved who may be a somehow-reincarnate
d version of Denver's older sister, who Sethe murdered as a toddler
when slave catchers came to take the family back to the plantation
. Much of the novel is told in flashback
to "Sweet Home
," the plantation where Sethe met and loved Baby Suggs' son Halle, or to Sethe's earlier days in Ohio.
The book is based on the story of a real woman, Margaret Garner, and has won many awards including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 1988. A movie was made out of it in 1998, directed by Jonathan Demme, with Oprah Winfrey as Sethe and Danny Glover as Paul D., but no movie could ever have the depth that the book has. The book tends to change to a different setting, time, or narrator without warning; it can be a difficult read, but it's worth it.