Synopses & Reviews
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 center: 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 one of the gods who walk among us. A righteous, fearless teller of necessary truths...sensually written and commanding."
Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
"It is a beautiful thing to watch Morrison move characters through the full range of human emotion and into cathartic transformation. Here, Morrison shows us the importance of not holding on to what needs to be put down; the necessity of forgiveness, the necessity of beginning again."
Hope Wabuke, The Root
"Nobel laureate Morrison continues to add to her canon of eloquent, brilliantly conceived novels defining the crises and cultural shifts of our times....Yet another finely distilled masterpiece."
Jane Ciabattari, BBC
"Powerful portraits in lean prose....The pieces all fit together seamlessly in a story about beating back the past, confronting the present, and understanding one's worth."
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal, (starred review)
"Sly, savage, honest, and elegant....Morrison spikes elements of realism and hyperrealism with magic and mayhem, while sustaining a sexily poetic and intoxicating narrative atmosphere....Once again, Morrison thrillingly brings the storytelling moxie and mojo that make her, arguably, our greatest living novelist."
Lisa Shea, ELLE Magazine
"A chilling oracle and a lively storyteller, Nobel winner Morrison continues the work she began 45 years ago with The Bluest Eye."
Kirkus (Starred Review)
"Another dazzler from Nobel laureate Morrison."
Barbara Hoffert's Fiction Picks, Library Journal
"Emotionally-wrenching...[Morrison's] literary craftsmanship endures with sparse language, precise imagery, and even humor. This haunting novel displays a profound understanding of American culture and an unwavering sense of justice and forgiveness."
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
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."
About the Author
Toni Morrison is the author of eleven 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.