God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Giving a Toni Morrison book only 3 stars seems ridiculous in light of some of the 4 and 5 star ratings I've doled out. What I'm saying is, Morrison can write the pants off of most writers. Whether you like her stuff/style or not, it must be admitted that the woman can string together one word after another in a very pleasing manner.
Having said that, God Help the Child did not enthrall me as others of hers have. I'm not 100% sure why. There could be a number reasons, here are some of them:
There weren't too many characters in this one that I particularly liked. Most were repulsive in some way shape or form, at least the main characters, of which there are nearly a half dozen. It's not that Morrison did a poor job creating them, it's that she did too good a job and by chance I'm not a fan of who these people are.
Another issue might be that I prefer Morrison's stories when they're set in the past. This one was her most modern setting yet, out of the books of hers that I've read. I love when she sets the scenes of days past. She does it so well and her style meshes with bygone eras like peanut butter and chocolate.
The subject matter here -child molestation- is particularly hard reading. The characters may be fictional, but that doesn't lessen the kick-to-the-gut feeling you get every time the narrative focuses on the subject.
All in all, it's a tough read. Certainly not bad, just tough for the aforementioned reasons.
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