Sethe is now miles away from Sweet Home—the farm where she was kept as a slave for many years. Unable to forget the unspeakable horrors that took place there, Sethe is haunted by the violent spectre of her dead child, the daughter who died nameless and whose tombstone is etched with a single word, 'Beloved'.

A tale of brutality, horror and, above all, love at any cost, Beloved is Toni Morrison's enduring masterpiece and best-known work.

In October 2021, Glenn Youngkin, Virginia's Republican governor-elect, targeted Toni Morrison's Beloved in a campaign ad that featured a parent upset that the 1987 novel was taught to her son when he was a high school senior.

It is not the only book of Morrison's, a Black woman, to be challenged in some communities — and as the debate over education again heats up, books have become a flashpoint around the U.S.