Friday, 14 August 2015

Toni Morrison- "God Help the Child"

Toni Morrison is "the great American novelist", as the cover of Time magazine declares.  She is much loved and has received many awards, including the Pulitzer prize, Nobel Prize, and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She has been an English professor as well as an author.
She can certainly write.  Her characters are very beautifully detailed.
This novel is very short and easy to read.
Bride is a dark-skinned girl whose light-skinned mother was cruel to her because of her skin colour. In order to get attention from her mother, Bride lied about sexual abuse as a child.
The theme of the book seems to be that childhood trauma shapes and changes people.  
Do we still need reminders of this?
Do we still need reminders of skin colour?
I don't have a great history with Toni's books.  I read "Paradise" twice, then saw the movie, but still didn't  understand what she was saying.
"Song of Solomon" was easier to understand.  A coming-of-age story with much inner turmoil, violence and confusion.
I think it is the constant violence- especially sexual, that I find unnerving.  I would like to read about a black family without the violence and sexual exploitation. But that is the Pollyanna coming out in me.
My friend, Terri, enjoyed this book more than I did.  She thought it was 'terrific' as many other readers did also.

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