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.
©2015 Toni Morrison (P)2015 Random House Audio
I purchased the hardcover of this book - I purchase the hardcover of all her books, when possible. But, when I learned Toni Morrison recorded the narration for the audiobook I decided to listen instead of read.
If you read Toni Morrison, you understand she is intimately tied to each of her characters, an invisible and unimaginable adhesive binds them, so hearing them brought to life under the guidance of Toni's voice is a rare gift.
This story is not flowery language, it is history and legacy and good words that strike through the marrow to pin to the wall that skeleton all our flesh has hardened over. This book is lesson and warning. What becomes of a child refused basic human kindness?
Professor of Literature and things. Mother, wife, goddess of the garden and critters. WoW addict.
Yes, I would listen again, but not for a long time. There is a lot happening here that I need to think on before I can revisit the book.
I compare the Grand Madame Toni Morrison to no one. But if you like her other works, or James Baldwin, then this might be a good choice for you.
I have listened to several other Toni Morrison books. I enjoyed every performance, but I think this was her best.
This books was a journey through perpetual sadness and how adults are coping with these great deficiencies of childhood. There are moments of kindness and genuine tender emotion and that helps soften the sadness.
This book isn't for the faint of heart. Listen with love. This is a work of fiction, but it is grounded in reality. It is a great story and one that will stay with you. It's worth the time.
I am a HUGE Toni Morrison fan but I thought this book was not her finest. It had some good points, but the ending was weird and implausible.
The least interesting was the central character, Bride. I found the other characters--Booker, Queenie, etc. much more interesting.
She was a little raspy and difficult to hear at times.
If this is your first Toni Morrison book, start with Beloved, Song of Solomon, A Mercy, or The Bluest Eye. They all brilliant books, in my opinion. I also like Paradise and Jazz. But this book, as I said above, is not her finest.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found myself wishing it would not end. Toni takes us on wild ride, traveling to improbable places and introducing us to a cast of flawed, self-involved characters. The ultimate reward is the confirmation of just how difficult and complicated a mother's role can be and how many ways we can screw it up!
Book was wonderfully connected to real life. The author forced the reader to examine though indirectly, our own neglect of the needy. The stories were insightful and inspiring that we will better understand the plight of those we come in contact with. Wonderful read.
One of my favorite authors, I hadn't read a review - just knew it was her latest book after many years. Fascinated by the characters & their stories, finished in 2 big chunks of listening. Morrison's language is exquisite. Loved it & is my return to literature after other genre.
I have loved every other book by Toni Morrison, but this one fell short in every aspect. It was over the top with child molestation, with every character either a molester or victim. Morrison overdid the topic, making the book very difficult to read.
In the audible version, the chapter breaks are non-existent. It was impossible to keep characters apart and to tell who was speaking, since the book moves between first and third person, and the chapters change narrator. Audible should re-format the book, leaving two seconds between chapter breaks, with a different voice reading the chapter title. Or use professional readers with different voices.
This was a most disappointing book.
The story seems to ramble more than any other of her works. It's a feast for the listener because of the authors decadent word play. However word play alone is not enough to sustain a story. I need more. As usually the author's quiet narration is an added bonus as you really come to feel the tone and texture of the charter dialogue and the intended accent of their speech.
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