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God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

I remember when I was first introduced to The Magic of ToMo. I read The Bluest Eye in an AP Lit class and instantly fell in love with the gritty yet poetic way she writes. Her characters are so beautifully flawed and there is just something about her stories that makes you feel that they're a part of your own history, your own tale.

Toni Morrison is one of the few authors who I auto buy without a question. Book Riot could tell me she's publishing her grocery list and I'd be submitting my pre-order through my local indie that very same day. So there was no question that I'd be reading her newest release, God Help the Child, as soon after publication date as I could.

God Help the Child was a different experience than her other books, as it was set in modern day. I know a lot of people were nervous for that very reason, but just as with everything else, she pulls it off. Was this book her best one? No. But the magical realism inherent in so many of her stories was just as poignant and powerful as it was in Beloved or Sula. I have a hard time criticizing ToMo as she is an utter genius, but my only real issue was this book was it's length. I felt like the novel was so short that the end felt a bit rushed. Then again, that might be the few brain cells left in my head chanting "We want more Morrison! We want more Morrison! We want more Morrison!"

In all, I think she succeeded in joining the rest of the world in the 21st century and allowing her characters to interact with the modern conveniences/horrors that we all encounter on a daily basis. And now that she has her feet wet in that world, I'm curious to see how social media and it's impact on society might inform her future novels.

And as I always do, I pray to The High Priestess Toni Morrison that I have so many more to look forward to!


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.

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