The Pequod Review:
Song of Solomon is another superb novel, one that begins with a dazzling opening scene involving the suicidal death of an insurance salesman followed hours later by the birth of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, who becomes the book’s protagonist. From there, the story traces the coming-of-age of Milkman (so named because his overbearing mother nursed him until age 4) as he searches for details of his family history. His journey takes him from his home in Michigan to Pennsylvania (where his grandfather was killed) and later to Virginia (home of his slave ancestors), all while exploring African American identity and racial issues more generally. Song of Solomon is more flawed than Sula (1973) — the story dips a bit in the middle of the novel, the characters sometimes awkwardly disappear and reappear, and its multicultural influences don’t always mix together well. Nonetheless, Song of Solomon is another high water mark for Toni Morrison.