Top positive review
A Powerful Novel
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2015
Whether this novel, Morrison’s eleventh, ranks among her previous best work is irrelevant. If judging God Help the Child on its own merits, it possesses qualities of a powerful book. It has complex, fascinating characters; mysterious settings and multilayered plot lines; touches of magic and irony; and, of course, it has Morrison’s inimitable prose, bursting with lyricism and verve that truly distinguish her as a brilliant writer. The story follows Bride and her tumultuous relationships with both her mother, Sweetness, and the man of her dreams, Booker. The narrative alternates from each of their voices and also from the vantage points of other memorable characters along the way. In addressing child abuse, race perceptions, and violence, Morrison produces a work that delivers the same type of blistering truth and unsettling emotion that have been trademarks throughout her career. This is an intense novel about enduring love and its many obstacles; about lifelong anguish and how the past impacts the future; about what parents do to their children; about secrets, lies, and how human conscience will eventually force the truth to surface; and, ultimately, it’s about compassion and forgiveness. In the end, Morrison again shows how, even when the wreckage caused from so much horror and sorrow seems insurmountable to overcome, the world forever has hope.