Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Thoughts: God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

God Help the ChildGod Help the Child by Toni Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Listen to me. You are about to find out what it takes, how the world is, how it works and how it changes when you are a parent.

Good luck and God help the child.”

We follow the story of a woman named Bride, a woman who was born so dark she's described as "blue-black." Both her parents are lighter in complexion than she is, so that caused friction between her parents, as her father couldn't accept the idea that his wife hadn't cheated on him. Neither parent seemed willing to accept that they could birth a child so black. Sweetness, Bride's mother, raised her to be tough. She tried to justify her actions by saying she was trying to prepare Bride for a world that would look at her skin and fear her. To Bride's credit, she grows into a beautiful, successful, confident woman who uses her skin to bewitch others. She commands a room when she's in it. However, after a painful part of her past resurfaces and the man she loves leaves her, Bride sets out on a journey.

I had to think about this book a few days before I could write a proper review for this book. I've been a long-time fan of Morrison's work and was excited to hear that she was writing her first book with a contemporary setting. However, while it is beautifully written and Toni Morrison is a wonderful narrator, this story is so disjointed. I'm not saying there aren't things to be taken away from this story, but it only grazes the top of the water, giving very little depth at all.

Characters come in with POVs that seem irrelevant and are never revisited again. While I definitely side-eyed the whole "I miss my black lady" chapter, at least it seemed to be the most earnest in trying to show how painful it is to have secrets and hurts that people would rather you ignore, or use them to make you stronger (as seems to be the overarching theme in all this) than trying to truly heal and make peace with your past--that includes Bride and her relationship with her mother.

This seems to lack purpose; it seems to lack a point. The driving force behind the story was weak. Resolutions I'd hope to see resolved never were. This story lacked cohesion, and honestly, I'm not particularly sure I understand what Toni was going for here. It's disappointing to feel this way about a Toni Morrison book because she usually has such powerful stories to tell.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.

Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

Tiara's bookshelf: read

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The Girl from the Well
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More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

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