Book Review: God Help The Child by Toni Morrison

toni_morrison_3269792aSweetness wants to love her child, Bride, but she struggles to love her as a mother should. Bride, now glamorous, grown up, ebony-black and panther-like, wants to love her man, Booker, but she finds herself betrayed by a moment in her past, a moment borne of a desperate burn for the love of her mother. Booker cannot fathom Bride’s depths, with his own love-lorn past bending him out of shape. Can they find a way through the damage wrought on their blameless childhood souls, to light and happiness, free from pain?

What I Thought:

This book is my first experience of reading Toni Morrison, outside of some passages in an African-American Literature course and, in general I can see why she is among the greats of American literature – up to a point.

The novel was excellent and Bride as a character was engaging and her imagined transformation back into the body of a child was written really well. The only thing that I didn’t like was that the book was too short! I don’t say this as a fangirl omg this book was way too short etc etc, but in that some of the flashback scenes for both Bride and Booker felt rushed, and there was much more material there to explore which would’ve fully cemented their reasons for acting as they do.

Although we know why Bride broke away from her fashionable and managed life to follow Booker, it doesn’t feel FULLY explained. It is a breakdown of sorts, but is it reason enough to abandon her life? It doesn;t seem that way in the book.

That said, I’m fully prepared to give the book five stars, as I enjoyed Bride as a character and Rain and her family, when we learn their story, have a unique and powerful family relationship.

NB I obtained this copy of God Help the Child from Gullivers Bookshop, Wimborne.

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