A's Reviews > God Help the Child

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
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it was ok
bookshelves: read-2015

Unfortunately, this felt more like a parody of a Toni Morrison novel rather than an actual Toni Morrison novel. (In truth, it felt like a parody of a novel, period, considering it was really more like a 90pp. novella set in big type with lots of white space to bulk it up to a $25 hardcover.) Sadly, Morrison's larger than life emotions weren't heady, but maudlin; the usually legendary and mythic tenor of the events curdled into cliche. The writing felt not pitched in a heavenly key, but just overwrought....I mean, this is a book that includes the lines "her eyes were full of stars" and "she knew freedom wasn't really free" in completely non-ironic contexts.

That said, ANY Toni Morrison novel is still a cause for celebration. Why? Well first of all the woman is 84 but still cranks them out -- not just books but essays, reviews, speeches, etc., all with something vital to say if (as with this novel) slightly diminished means of saying it. I mean, God Help the Child -- she won a Nobel Prize literally a generation ago. That means, yes, there are actually people with published novels in 2015 who have never been alive in the world where the Nobel Laureates didn't include an American woman of color. How amazing is that?

More importantly, the arrival of a Toni Morrison novel means the arrival of a Toni Morrison promotional/speaking tour, and what an unmitigated joy that is. I won't link to the NYT profile of her that everyone was passing around recently, because I'm sure you read it, but I would point you to her recent writings on The Good (aka Altruism). This is a true American genius still writing truth to power and delivering it to us unfiltered and uncompromisingly. And no amount of cliched writing or slight novelistic misstep can ever diminish that.
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Reading Progress

April 27, 2015 – Started Reading
April 27, 2015 – Shelved
April 27, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 29, 2015 – Finished Reading
April 30, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015

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