"Distaste was all over her face when I was little and she had to bathe me. Rinse me, actually, after a halfhearted rub with a soapy washcloth. I used to pray she would slap my face or spank me just to feel her touch. I made little mistakes deliberately, but she had ways to punish me without touching the skin she hated...." - Bride, God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. What an extraordinary piece of work this phenomenal author has yet again released. I have always loved reading novels by Toni Morrison. Her symbolism, imagery, and attention to detail completely take over your mind and before you know it you are engulfed in the novel. This book allows you to understand that the way in which you treat a child can affect them for years to come. It will even affect how they treat you in th long run. I am sure we all have characteristics and ways of operating that have stemmed from certain experiences in our lives. Most of our behavior is learned behavior...
In the first chapter of God Help the Child, Morrison introduces us to Sweetness and Bride... | Sweetness describes the horror she felt when her child was pulled from between her legs after birth and she first laid eyes on her baby girl. Her child was dark, darker than usual and she knew this was unacceptable to society. She knew that life for her tainted baby girl would be that of a difficult one. I mean that alone drew me in. Because of Bride's skin color her mother kept her hidden from the rest of the world. She knew that Bride's skin color would cause the rest of the society, especially that of whites and lighter complexion coloreds, to treat them differently. The phenomenon of colorism and how that molded the way so many people were treated is intriguing. It saddens me to know that ignorance is what molds people to be prejudice. Colorism is still evident today.
As we continue to read we are introduced to Bride, that extremely dark baby girl. However this time she is an adult and the story is now narrated from her prospective; alternating with a few other characters as well. During her older years most people did not shun her for your complexion. Instead, they where intrigued and looked at her as if she were a rare jewel. People awed at her beauty. It was as though they were celebrating it. The attention Bride sought after from her mother she was now getting from men, other women; people of all races. But can this fill the void? What happened to her mother? What became of their relationship? I won't tell the story in its entirety because I would hate to ruin it for you all. What I can assure you is that this novel does not disappoint. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison is truly a great read. You will not want to put the book down. I purchased my copy from Target but you can certainly purchase it from your local bookstore or Barnes & Nobles, Target, Amazon, etc.
Click the link in the title above to get your own copy and let me know your thoughts!
Happy Page Turning Bookworms :)
- Lady Bookworm!!