Coffee and Contemplation: Beloved by Toni Morrison

The first book I’m looking at in my studies of supernatural storytelling is “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. Published in 1987, it won the “Pulitzer Prize for Fiction” in 1988. The genre is American Literature. This is not a horror novel; however, something supernatural takes place in the story. The story is about a family of former slaves living in Cincinnati after the American Civil War. Their home is haunted by a malevolent spirit. Part of the story was based on a true-life incident that happened in 1856 involving an escaped slave from Kentucky, Margaret Garner.

The spirit in their home is a character in the story. The spirit doesn’t kill anyone but does cause problems for the family. Overall, the novel is not that scary. It’s not supposed to be. There is one scene that was difficult to read. This was the scene that depicted the real-life events of Margaret Garner killing one of her children to prevent them from growing up as a slave. The scene is important because the family believes the spirit in the house is the child that was killed. This is not a novel for children because of the adult content.

I recommend this book to everyone. If you haven’t read anything by Toni Morrison, you should. 

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 1/10 spiders – 🕷️

Overall rating: 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: Studies in Supernatural Storytelling

As promised, I am changing up how I approach the weekly Coffee and Contemplation segments. Think of this as the introduction post. This will kind of be like reviews but focused on the spooky things. This may include films, television, and various other things. My main focus will be on books. As I want to be a writer of supernatural horror, speculative fiction, and magical realism, these are the kinds of books I’ve been reading for the past couple years. I plan to go through them one by one offering my opinion of the works, saying how spooky they are, and perhaps something I learned about writing in this genre.

I can tell you one thing I’ve learned already. The best supernatural horror stories have some real-life horrors included. I mean things that actually have or could happen such as genocide and rape. I will offer and overall rating of the work between one and five stars like so many other rating systems. I will also include a Spooky Spider Scale. I will rate the level of scariness in the book between one and ten spiders. I don’t scare easy. For example, a children’s book might have some scary bits for kids but not for adults. These might be one or two spiders. The average horror novel might get 5 or 6 spiders. It’s too scary for kids but teens and young adults won’t get too scared.

I may need to perfect this scale as I start writing about these different novels. I have read many and have many a book on my To-Read list. I try to keep my list updated on my Goodreads profile. Follow me or friend request me there to see what I’m reading now. And feel free to offer suggestions or comment on what you thought about whichever book I discussed on a certain week. These posts are intended to be a conversation and I want to hear from you all. I hope to have lots of fun with this new approach to my Sunday posts. I’m already excited. Will you join me on this journey into spookiness?