We all want to fit in. We all want to be loved, to be appreciated, to be accepted. But sometimes, as much as we wish it to happen, it may never happen.
The late Toni Morrison‘s debut novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The main character in the book is Pecola Breedlove, a young African-American girl growing up in the 1930s and 1940s. Because of her complexion and the way that the rest of the world sees her, Pecola wants to be White. She wants to have blonde hair, blue eyes and fit in with the world around her.
As her wish becomes more fervent, her life begins to fall apart in ways that most, if not all of us, would find troubling.
If this book is not a mirror to our reality, I don’t know what is. Issues of race, class, and questions of who is considered to be beautiful bounce around this book like a painful ping pong ball. It is, I think, a necessary read because we are still wrestling with the same issues today that the characters are wrestling with decades ago.
I recommend it.