God Help The Child by Toni MorrisonGod Help The Child by Toni Morrison

God Help The Child

byToni Morrison

Paperback | January 26, 2016

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The new novel from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child is a searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult. At the centre: a 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 until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish.... Booker, the man Bride loves and loses, whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother ... Rain, the mysterious white child, who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she's suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother ... and Sweetness, Bride's mother, who takes a lifetime to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."
TONI MORRISON is the author of 11 novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to Home (2012). She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in New York.
Title:God Help The ChildFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 7.9 × 5.2 × 0.54 inPublished:January 26, 2016Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307399761

ISBN - 13:9780307399762

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good addition to Morrison's saga Written in a classic, multi-narrative style so characteristic of Morrison’s work, the book takes us through the painful stories of Bride, Sweetness, Booker, Queen, Brooklyn, and Rain. Like so much of her previous work, it explores the painful experiences on the bridge between blackness and femininity - a whiff of how a colonial past still shows its ugly face in our modern world. This work beckons us to ask questions about how past brokenness affects us and what impact the baggage of our childhoods: abuse, neglect, and tragedy, have on us today. Ultimately, this work is a declaration of freedom, recognizing that trauma is real, but the capacity to triumph is greater still.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lacklustre but okay I think it lacked depth and kept waiting for a little more. However the subject matter regarding parenting, race and abuse made a profound impact which saved the book from a unfavorable rating.
Date published: 2015-08-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heart-breaking and riveting. This book, like so many by Toni Morrison, is not for the faint of heart nor will it appeal to everyone. But it is done in Morrison's style- beautiful, haunting, and thoughtfully written.
Date published: 2015-07-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from God Help the Child This story went a little too fast. So many things happened in a short amount of time and when tragedy struck, it struck often, almost seemed comical really. The story line was good, but it seemed like a grocery store romance novel. Not my choice as best book.
Date published: 2015-05-27

Editorial Reviews

“[In God Help the Child] there is that magnificence, burning beneath the surface of every word. The language, shifts in point of view and the audacity of the novel’s premise are overwhelming. Morrison remains an incredibly powerful writer who commands attention no matter the story she is telling. In God Help the Child we have a coming-of-age story for an adult woman in arrested development.” —Roxane Gay, The Guardian “[A] piece of mastery. . . . Sensitive to legacies of abuse, to pressures of racism, image, taboo and economics, and to the harmful fictions and common social madnesses of the modern Western world, [God Help the Child] found an impossible-seeming, myth-like form to reveal the interconnections between these, never losing its streetwise footing in the process.” —Ali Smith, author of How to Be Both “Morrison is always a must read, and this epic book looks at the marks that childhood trauma leaves on our adult lives is sure to be no exception.” —Terri Coles, The Huffington Post Canada “[God Help the Child is a] slim, lyrical exploration of the meaning of beauty and the lingering, corrosive effects of childhood trauma.” —Mark Medley, The Globe and Mail “Child abuse cuts a jagged scar through Morrison’s novel, a brisk modern-day fairy tale with shades of the Brothers Grimm, and a blunt moral: What you do to children matters.” —The New York Times (Notable Book) “[God Help the Child] attests to her ability to write intensely felt chamber pieces that inhabit a twilight world between fable and realism, and to convey the desperate yearnings of her characters for safety and love and belonging. . . . Running throughout all their stories are leitmotifs and images that knit their experiences together, along with some wonderfully pictorial descriptions that sparkle on the page. . . . Morrison works her narrative magic, turning the Ballad of Bride and Booker into a tale that is as forceful as it is affecting, as fierce as it is resonant.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review“God Help the Child provokes and haunts long after the last page has been turned.” —Toronto Star“God Help the Child . . . has much to give its readers, not least the pleasure of Toni Morrison’s muscular prose and its dance-like mix of narrators. . . . It’s an admirable smaller tale with tricky ambiguities that raise challenging ruminations rather than awe—yet for sure it’s one of this year’s don’t-miss novels.” —Claire Hopley, The Washington Times “As the title of her latest signals, Morrison’s . . . eleventh novel is an invocation that takes up the child’s unique condition and dilemma . . . making an eloquent plea for help from a more divine source than that most often provided by the flawed women or men . . . that populate this novel.” —Neil Besner, Winnipeg Free Press   “This novel is worth reading on the strength of Morrison’s narrative talents alone, but it also makes an inviting introduction to her entire body of work. God Help the Child finds this American legend still breaking new ground and, as always, delivering an uncompromising and memorable novel.” —Jack Pender, The Record (Waterloo)  “Morrison’s genius imbues the writing.” —Deborah Sloan, The Dominion Post (New Zealand)   “Morrison has a Shakespearean sense of tragedy, and that gift imbues God Help the Child. The ending is exquisite, bringing to mind Gwendolyn Brooks’ wonderful lines: ‘Art hurts. Art urges voyages—and it is easier to stay at home.’” —Karen R. Long, Newsday   “Its economy is virtuous, especially as it tells so many difficult life stories. Then again, life itself is often difficult. That Morrison conveys so much of that difficulty, and from multiple perspectives, in such a compact space is perhaps her most magical feat here.” —Mark Reynolds, PopMatters   “[T]here is brilliance, sweltering underneath the veneer of every word. Morrison’s naturally lithe and agile temporal fluctuations and astonishing precision of language delivery creates a rich literary galore that in itself is a testament to her formidable literary acumen. . . . [I]t is impossible to not be swayed by Morrison’s fire and vision, to be coerced to dwell inside the trepidation and volatility, in the disarray of human experience.” —Hurmat Kazmi, The Express Tribune (India)   “Morrison pulls you back with passages of such intense lyricism or psychological penetration that the world seems to make fragmented sense again, if only through the prism of her tragic understanding and elegiac gifts.” —Morag Fraser, The Sydney Morning Herald