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Publisher Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A New York Times Notable Book • This fiery and provocative novel from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

Fiction & Literature
April 21
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

archetype67 ,

Though provoking

God Help the Children is Toni Morrison's latest novel and her first set in contemporary time. The story moves between 1st And 3rd person narratives even for the same characters and on a re-read I'll analyze that further. It stands to Morrison's talent that it wasn't something that stood out - it was only on looking back for the review that I realized that sometime Bride - the protagonist- was told in 1st, then in other parts 3rd.

The language is typical Morrison - sparse but powerfully descriptive - a dichotomy that has always been part of what I love about her writing. The characters, despite the limited space for development, are fully realized. Their stories are hard, and there is a common thread from the past that connects them, and there is a painful emotional distance that drives choices throughout.

Overall, an excellent read with my only real complaint is that I wanted more time with the characters. This latest Morrison novel is not as dark as some of her other ones, but it tackles typical themes of loss and the impact of adults in someone's youth on the adults one becomes.

I'm sure, like all of my experiences with Morrison's novels, I'll discover more in subsequent readings, which is yet another reason to enjoy her brilliance.

ivorydanay ,


This book opened my eyes about childhood trauma and the way parenting is effected by it. There are so many sides to every story and this book highlights the complexities of every relationship in the book. Easily one of the best books I have read.

kaykaybean13 ,

One of the greatest authors of all time

Beautifully poignantly written story of the abandonment, abuse neglect and horrible consequences one day in court caused so many innocent lives. This book captivates from the very beginning to the unexpected ending

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