A rebellious young married couple from Connecticut make the decision to buy property in Idaho and start an idealized life. Thomas, who has just finishA rebellious young married couple from Connecticut make the decision to buy property in Idaho and start an idealized life. Thomas, who has just finished his training as a physician in 1960, really has no desire to be a doctor and only wants to fish in the pristine streams near his Idaho property. He's a dreamer who possesses few practical life skills and is uneasy dealing with other people. Helen is a free spirit who is uninterested in the conventional life of her wealthy parents, but who finds herself ignored, pregnant, and bored living in a tent in Idaho. A handsome, wonderful teenager, Manny, helps them out on their farm and proves indispensable to the family.
The adults and the daughter Elise are all flawed characters with difficult childhoods and many challenges in their past. The family experiences a great loss, and grief colors their lives for years. This is an emotionally dark story, but it holds a ray of hope as it ends.
Kim Barnes beautifully describes a small town in Idaho where the people are often at the mercy of the forces of nature, and where isolation can drag down the spirit. Life often is not easy, but so many problems were heaped on this poor family that it started to resemble a soap opera, especially regarding Thomas. So I would give the book higher marks for the writing style than for the plot....more
The theme of childhood traumatic events leaving lasting damage runs through "God Help the Child". The central figure in the book is Lulu who was rejecThe theme of childhood traumatic events leaving lasting damage runs through "God Help the Child". The central figure in the book is Lulu who was rejected by her lighter skinned parents because her skin was "midnight black, Sudanese black". Lulu makes a terrible mistake to get her mother's attention and approval, and ruins someone's life. When Lulu becomes older, she works for a cosmetics firm and changes her name to Bride. The beautiful Bride embraces her dark blue-black skin, and accentuates it by always wearing white. Although she is successful in business, Bride seems like a shallow, superficial person. When her boyfriend, Booker, leaves her, she searches for him to find out the reason.
As she looks for Booker, she meets a young girl who was abused by her prostitute birth mother. She also learns of a violent event in Booker's family that haunts him. There is a bit of magical realism in the book as Bride examines her life, and feels like she is turning back into a young child physically.
The theme of childhood abuse--both emotional and physical--is an important subject to present. Although I'm not going to quote passages from the book since it would give away too much of the plot, Toni Morrison came through with some beautiful writing as usual. Although I liked the book, I wished it was a bit longer so that the characters, especially Booker's Aunt Queen and Bride's mother, could have been seen with more depth.
Zoe and Jake were the first ones on the slopes at a ski resort in the French Pyrenees when they heard a deep rumble. As they headed toward the trees,Zoe and Jake were the first ones on the slopes at a ski resort in the French Pyrenees when they heard a deep rumble. As they headed toward the trees, an avalanche buried them in the snow. Fortunately they were able to dig themselves out and get down the mountain to their hotel, but found a strange silent world awaited them. They were unable to communicate to the outside world, and they only had each other. Time was playing mysterious tricks on them.
This is a fantasy novel that has frightening moments of horror, musings on memory, death, and existence, and emotional times of deep love. The book has wonderful atmospheric descriptions of the snow, the mist, and the cold. I read The Silent Land in one evening because the book was impossible to put down....more