The story focuses on Milkman Dead, only son of Macon Dead and expected successor to his father’s empire of property in an unnamed Michigan city. In his early teens, Milkman’s friend Guitar goads him into a forbidden visit to Macon’s sister, Pilate, a free spirit and bootlegger whom Macon long ago disowned, and he begins to learn more about his complicated family history, getting conflicting stories from his aunt, his father, and his mother. But while Guitar is pulled into a secret society of black activists, Milkman goes legit, working for his father to earn money to make himself more attractive to women. He enters into an illicit relationship with his cousin Hagar, Pilate’s granddaughter, but when he grows bored with her and tries to call things off, she wages a nightly campaign to terrorize him.
And that’s just the first third of the book. There’s so much going on in this story that Morrison somehow fits into a brisk 340 pages: race relations, class tensions, family secrets, deception, revenge, and even a multi-state treasure hunt for a long-lost fortune in gold. Along the way, Milkman is forced to reconcile what he thinks the world owes him with what he really owes to his family, his friends, his community, and himself. Morrison covers all this territory across several decades with ease, starting with a bang and soaring through the last breathtaking line. A wonderful story an unforgettable reading.
at the first few chapter i struggled with this book, with the style and the content. and then when i read on, i really loved it.