God Help the Child

God Help the Child✈ [PDF / Epub] ✅ God Help the Child By Toni Morrison ✸ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk 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 t 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. Read this in one breath Really lovely novel about how a young woman made a desperate choice to be loved by her mother how that choice would shape her life and how she was able to overcome a mistake to become her own woman I am especially marveling at the novel's structure and how it all comes together at the end I was both surprised and satisfied by the ending This is just an excellent novel When I took a grad school class on Toni Morrison I started a pretentious I know tradition of 9 word reviews of her work Look I was young and she had written 9 books at the time Anyway I'll do the same hereEverybody is fucked up There's usually a good reasonThen I'll cheat and add that Toni Morrison is a national treasure and I'm so thankful to have her books in my life Everybody bow down Toni Morrison still reigns In this short novel we meet Bride A young woman who as a child testified in a court case which led to the imprisonment of an alleged child abuser Twenty years later Bride tries to make peace with the woman whom she sent to prison I'll stop there and allow you to read the rest of the novelMorrison imbues this novel with her renowned mastery of prose which allows the reader to sweep through this novel in only a sitting or two This novel is a well wound timepiece with every cog characters narrative emotion working off each other in perfect harmony and synchronisation in the end altogether forming a beautiful workThis book is a true brilliant work of structure and form Split into many different vignettes some in first person and some in third person the narrative jumps back and forward in both time and location However each piece is a patch on a cloak and by the end of the novel we are left with a sprawling blanket God Help the Child is thus far my favourite new release of 2015 Short succinct savage It shows that even since The Bluest Eye was written 45 years ago Morrison has never lost a single gram of genius intellect or bite 35 stars “No matter how hard we try to ignore it the mind always knows truth and wants clarity”– Toni Morrison God Help The ChildIt took me a while to write this review mainly because I was trying to find the right words I’ve read most of Morrison’s books There was something about it that did not feel very much like her other books That’s not to say an author has to stick to one writing style but there were some parts of the book that caught me off guard Structurally this felt uite different from her other books with fast paced sections and a couple of loose ends though it wasn’t that evident at firstThe novella focuses on Bride a woman with blue black skin Ignored and neglected by her mother and not shown any love because of her black skin she was accepted as a successful adult in the beauty industry“I sold my elegant blackness to all those childhood ghosts and now they pay me for it I have to say forcing those tormentors—the real ones and others like them– to drool with envy when they see me is than payback It’s glory”At first I thought this book was going along the lines of “The Bluest Eye”in that it discusses colourismRegardless of how often I read about colourism it always surprises me how prevalent it can be and how it can in this case stop a light skinned black woman from showing any love to her dark skinned daughter I came across this painting the other day A Redenção de Cam by Modesto Brocos which summarizes how worrying colourism is Yet colourism wasn’t a theme that was as developed as I expected it would be Perhaps it’s because the book was a pretty fast paced bookDespite this book not being as strong as Morrison’s others I still uite liked it I especially liked the conversation about how our childhood can haunt us and can often play a huge role in our adult life“Each will cling to a sad little story of hurt and sorrow– some long ago trouble and pain life dumped on their pure and innocent selves And each one will rewrite that story forever knowing the plot guessing the theme inventing its meaning and dismissing its origin What a waste”The main characters both carry burdens from their childhood burdens they haven’t properly acknowledged For example Booker Bride’s boyfriend looks to his intelligence as a way of not confronting his childhood trauma Yet it causes problems“I risk nothing I sit on a throne and identify signs of imperfections in others I’ve been charmed by my own intelligence and the moral positions I’ve taken along with the insolence that accompanies them But where is the brilliant research the enlightening books the masterpieces I used to dream of producing? Nowhere Instead I write notes about the shortcomings of others Easy So easy”I wish this had been longer or at least that some of the loose ends had been completed I still had many uestions No lonesome wandering child with a fishing pole passed by and glanced at the adults in the dusty gray car But if one had he or she might have noticed the pronounced smiles of the couple how dreamy their eyes were but would not care a bit what caused that shine of happiness A child New life Immune to evil or illness protected from kidnap beatings rape racism insult hurt self loathing abandonment Error free All goodness Minus wrath So they believe The children in Toni Morrison’s novel can use all the help they can get whether from God or some other source Lula Ann Bridewell was not what her high yellow parents had expected She was so black she scared me Midnight black Sudanese blackAin’t nobody in my family anywhere near that colorI hate to say it but from the very beginning in the maternity ward Lula Ann embarrassed me Toni Morrison said in an interview “For me the tar baby came to mean the black woman who can hold things together” In this instance it is about a very black woman who cannot While she may be a successful cosmetics pro beautiful successful rising in the world we meet the adult Lula Ann who has erased the rest of her name and now calls herself by the mononym “Bride” as she is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend The One Booker Starbern who announces “You’re not the woman I want” before exiting to the percussive accompaniment of a slammed door How this came to be and Bride’s uest to figure out why it did provide the foundation to which the rest of the narrative elements are addedBride has a bit of a tough go as her appreciation for people and relationships is only skin deep She tells of her Diet Coke like sex life “deceptively sweet minus nutrition” She tries to blow off her dumping Well anyway it was nothing like those double page spreads in fashion magazines you know couples standing half naked in surf looking so fierce and downright mean their sexuality like lightning and the sky going dark to show off the shine of their skin I love those ads But our affair didn’t even measure up to any old R B song some tune with a beat to generate fever but fails at that In fact the departure of Booker sparks a physical demise for Bride well a magical realist retreat that no one else seems to see as she progressively devolves back to a child losing her ear piercings pubic hair weight sense of taste menstrual cycle and breasts Toni Morrison from The GuardianBride’s erstwhile and very secretive bf Booker has issues of his own He especially liked her lack of interest in his personal life Where Bride is totally focused on the surface of things Booker who plays jazz hides behind his intellect applying himself to the study of the root of all evil but never really freeing himself to become an entire person He carries a burden of rage from his childhood that keeps him from being his own person Only if Bride and Booker can build themselves up to actual three dimensional people by looking beyond their own skins to consider the feelings of others can they have any hope of anything from life than ephemeral pleasures Only then can they truly connect Much of God Help the Child focuses on children how they are treated the long term impact of that treatment on themselves and on others Childhood here is a particularly fraught state Lula Ann Bride is almost shunned by her own mother who won’t even allow her to call her “Mama” insisting that she call her “Sweetness” instead lest people on the street know for sure that someone that dark came from someone that light As a child she witnesses an act of child abuse Another character loses a relation to a child abuser and encounters a school yard flasher as an adult Bride had falsely testified against an allegedly abusive teacher done to gain at least some acceptance from her mother so children are capable of inflicting harm as well as receiving it Another child was prostituted by her mother and a serial abuser “the nicest man in the world” is reported to have preyed on many One might be inclined to wonder a bit at the Cabot Cove like concentration of awfulness on display here even if much of it is by referenceThematically there is a lot in here about erasure not only Bride’s Richard Matheson reminiscent fairy tale reduction some of it involving what appears to be a magic razor Sweetness erasing Lula Ann as much as possible Sofia the convicted molester doing her best to erase Bride from her life as Bride had attempted to erase her guilt for what she had done and it can be no accident that Bride is the designer of cosmetics and even thinks about people in terms of how the right makeup can erase their flaws The pages are damp with mentions of precipitation It rains on Bride the day after Booker leaves Booker is rained on when he leaves a family gathering in a huff A child of a prostitute is found while on the street in the rain and rain moistens one of the most beautiful passages in the book as Booker celebrates seeing his Galatea for the first time The sun still blazed so the raindrops falling from the baby blue sky were like crystal breaking into specks of light on the pavement He decided to play his trumpet alone in the rain anyway knowing that no pedestrians would stop to listen; rather they closed umbrellas as they rushed down the stairs to the trains Still in thrall to the sheer beauty of the girl he had seen he put the trumpet to his lips What emerged was music he had never played before Low muted tones held long too long as the strains floated through drops of rain There are plenty passages that ripple with poetic feeling And there are some subsidiary characters who brighten up the scene A fifty something hippie couple seemed like magical forest dwellers an epitome of innocence and goodness with maybe a touch of Tom Bombadil and even Bjorn the Berserker Booker’s aunt ueen is a delight vivacious colorful and very interesting worthy of an entire book just on her alone The rescued daughter of a prostitute is fascinating as well God Help the Child is a rarity in that it is a Toni Morrison novel set in the present Her eleventh novel is a spare one at 177 pages similar in girth to Morrison’s previous novels Home which weighed in a very novella like 147 pages and A Mercy another slim volume at 167 pages Not that Morrison is given to producing tomes but her books these days seem on the thin side A larger frame might have allowed her a bit space in which to give us a bit I am reminded though of Lincoln’s response when asked about the proper length of a man’s legs he said “they ought to be long enough to reach from his body to the ground” I expect that the proper size of a Toni Morrison story is the number of pages she needs to say what she has to say She has said she is “writing less in order to say ” A little Toni Morrison goes a long wayThe author is in her 80s now While God may have been asleep as the wheel when most of the children in this tale suffered what they suffered maybe God can help the author at something she is most definitely inclined to do keep writing until her last breath and help push that day far off into the future In this way God will also be helping the readerYou will need no assistance enjoying God Help the Child While I would not rank it with her recognized classics like Sula and Beloved even a lesser Toni Morrison book is better than most of what is out thereReview posted – August 7 2015Publication date – April 21 2015EXTRA STUFFMorrison’s Facebook page Morrison passed in 2019 The page is maintained by KnopfInterviews GR interview by Catherine Elsworth Video interview at the 92nd Street Y NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross The Paris Review – with Elissa SchappelReviews of other Morrison work 2011 Home 2008 A Mercy 1987 BelovedRead but not reviewed 1977 Song of Solomon 1973 Sula This novel is really not goodThe reviews have been studiously polite but have been gesturing to the deficits in the book which are considerable I say this not to discredit Toni Morrison because I love her work But the elements of this novel are explored with so much nuance and terrible beauty elsewhere in her oeuvre cruelty sexual abuse color consciousness and the terrible vulnerability of children The Bluest Eye and the inhuman force of fire the irresistible allure of a strong sexual connection and the betrayal of female friendship Sula In an odd way this felt like a sketch for a novel rather than an actual novel and while it focuses on the female body as a symbol of psychic pain or community renewal Beloved complicating and ironizing the common representations of pregnancy as the site of restoration drawing attention to the fact that a birth is not a happy ending but a cyclical beginning the characterization of this central character Bride felt very flat to me and the texture of the novel was not improved by turning to a different narrative center her lover Booker I was so hopeful about this book because I loved the excerpts I read from Morrison's recent NPR interview but it strikes me from reading this that no one is stopping Nobel laureate Toni Morrison from publishing anything even if it's half baked or in this case merely proofing 45 Absolutely amazing Morrison can put a story together as very few can Although only a short novel so much is said so much emotional territory is covered When Sweetness a light skinned black gives birth to a blue black baby she is appalled as is her husband who uickly leaves the family Treating her daughter Lulu Ann roughly she makes excuses for herself by thinking she is teaching her child how rough the world would treat her by the color of her skin Calling herself Bride Lulu Ann becomes a beauty and successful in business but not so in loveThe story shows how treatment in the past follows a person into the future the feelings of inferiority are hard to erase How violence is dealt to the young and helpless by the very people trusted to take care and love them This is a gritty novel reminiscent of her earliest novel Bluest Eye Her use of spare language her word choices descriptions and use of symbolism I found awe inspiring There is so much cause and effect in this novel not just with the main characters but in many of the relationships found within Although it is gritty there are also good people people who go out of their way to help a stranger Atonement is it ever possible to atone for the bad decisions of the past? Can one ever truly overcome the bad events and memories of childhood? Thought provoking novel by an author that has truly mastered her craft She gets itARC by publisher Just What?Why did we need to shift into Brooklyn's and the falsely accused woman's perspectives? Their sections were impossibly short and didn't do anything to drive the narrative or develop any characters Why did ueen become such an integral part of the story so late in the game? Why do Sweetness chapters bookend this story when she has very little to do or contribute to the storytelling anywhere else? Why so much molestation? There are at least five separate cases referenced; I was expecting them to connect somehow or to inform one another and aside from two of them being an impetus for a break up they didn't Did Bride ever go back to Sylvia Inc? Are we supposed to believe this Booker dude was the impetus for her loss and regaining or breasts and ear piercings? Oh and that I miss my black lady chapter that casually mentions Bride taking a bullet for Raisin? Like WHAT IS THIS BOOK? God help the child indeed And by child I mean me And by help I mean help me make sense of what I just read Toni’s passing this year was a sad moment for me I read all her books again and this is my first reading of God Help The Child It is a beautiful love story full of blood and viscera but still optimistic and life affirming The story of Booker and Bride is one that I will not soon forget Of course the writing is a pleasure to read and savor Toni Morrison’s swan song is one of her truly great additions to the canon of great American literature Writing this review has shifted my rated from 3 4 stars to 5 What an eclectic book what an interesting writer This is my first foray into Toni Morrison books I listened to the audio narrated by the author She has a dreamy voice I was initially feeling a little mesmerised and sleepy but decided to enjoy the story telling by the creator it is real Her words pack a punch at every turn every statement is strong and full bodied The process of writing this story must have been exhaustingTough are these themes of childhood neglect abuse and childhood misery We are meant to cherish our young aren’t we? So many bad things happen to our babies it is depressing but the author uses this to make us think‘Bride’ has chosen this as her name is a young and exuisite beautiful blue black woman who has seen too much experienced too much and has lived without all the things we take for granted This is really heavy it’s hard for me to put into words a summary I don’t summarise my books here on Goodreads anyway Gosh I didn’t even know the term blue black – I had to look it up and the images I saw took my breath away I could envision Bride to be extraordinaryBride shines in every way – her looks her white clothes and shoes against her amazing skin colour an amazing career She has succeeded in this respect but what she has endured in her short few years is heartbreaking She will touch the life of the reader Bride only ever wanted to be loved accepted; even touched by her mother Read this book I am now off to read about the author and see if I can get a glimpse into where all these complexities come from if can even in a small way