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God Help the Child

by Morrison, Toni

Format: Kindle Book 2015
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Availability: Available from OverDrive 9 of 10 copies
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Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride's mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This novel is brief for Morrison brief for most any major novelist. There is a lot of foundational information for readers to quickly learn in the opening pages. Brevity for Morrison doesn't mean cutting out lots of plot development and character presentation. It means that the usual amount of that kind of elaboration is condensed in fewer pages than what would be expected. So there is no wading into the story and gathering at a measured pace all the important clues about people and events that the reader ordinarily has time to absorb and process. The theme can be gleaned from the title. This is a novel about how psychological damage in childhood influences the way an adult leads his or her life. Four voices, four characters the primary one being Bride, born so dark-skinned that her light-skinned mother was loathe to even touch her give solo articulation to their hurts when young and the consequent dented versions of their adult selves. Now, the strength of the novel and it does indeed gain compelling strength is that it becomes a swirl of deep emotions, sucking the reader in, which is good, because the point of the novel is to empathize as deeply as possible with what these characters experience. High-Demand Backstory: A new Morrison novel? Stock up. Enough said.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In Morrison's short, emotionally-wrenching novel, her first since 2012's Home, a mother learns about the damage adults do to children and the choices children make as they grow to suppress, express, or overcome their shame. The story begins with the birth of Lula Ann Bridewell, a midnight black baby whose mother cannot stand to touch her. Grown-up Lula Ann transforms herself into Bride, a stiletto-wearing, Jaguar-driving California executive with dark skin proudly accentuated by stylish white clothing. Amid preparations for the launch of her signature cosmetics line, Bride offers a gift-bag of cash and cosmetics to parolee Sofia Huxley, the kindergarten teacher Bride accused of sexual abuse 15 years before, earning Bride maternal approval and Sofia her prison sentence. Sofia's angry rejection of Bride's present, coinciding with the departure of Bride's lover, inspires such self-doubt that Bride fears regressing back into Lula Ann. A car accident lands her in a culvert, where a little girl keeping dark secrets of her own comes to the rescue. Nobel laureate Morrison explores characteristic themes of people held captive by inner struggles; the delusion of racism; violence and redemption. Her literary craftsmanship endures with sparse language, precise imagery, and even humor. This haunting novel displays a profound understanding of American culture and an unwavering sense of justice and forgiveness. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects African American Fiction
Publisher Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group2015
Language English
ISBN 9780385353175