Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 book 100

Toni Morrison's God Help The Child
Oh man, guys, this book is . . . not great. I mean, not for a Toni Morrison novel, anyway. Maybe it's not fair to judge her by higher standards, especially when she's in her 80s? Part of the problem is that this novel is short, under 200 pages, so there isn't a lot of room for character development. Things mainly center on a young woman, Bride, with POVs from other characters that turn out to be minor (the beginning feels like it's going to be telling the story of a few different women, but then it just doesn't). And Bride is just not that interesting of a character--she's heartbroken that her boyfriend left her and now seems to be symbolically regressing into childhood, ok whatever, there's also a whole thing with a woman she put into jail with her testimony that also doesn't really go anywhere. But the whole thing is just Bride being whiny, basically. All the other women are so much more interesting! Everything with her job is so much more interesting than her obsession with this dude! Am I missing some deeper level? Probably. It's a quick read and most of the writing is strong; there are some overdone passages and there is a LOTTTTTT of child abuse, more than seemed necessary, but maybe I'm missing something there too. Ugh, I can't give Toni Morrison less than a B, but really, not great.

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