God Help the Child
Sweetness swears, “But it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault.” But is it? What happens in childhood does not always stay in childhood, as Toni Morrison demonstrates in this novel.
Bride. Just Bride. It suits the woman who wears that name. She’s a regional manager at Sylvia, Inc., a cosmetics company that is quickly becoming hip. Bride is the inventor of one of the six new cosmetic lines for Sylvia, Inc., and the proud owner of a Jaguar, which she happens to mention repeatedly. She’s also a show stopper with her blue-black skin, all white clothing, and “wolverine eyes.” Others’ eyes are always drawn to her, and always have been, although the reasons are different now than when she was a child.
All grown up and in search of a small town called Whiskey, a freak accident on a winding country road provides Bride with time to think and reflect, once she moves past the self-pity and boredom. It is here that she learns her beauty is not the key to her confidence or success. A mysterious, young child named Rain helps with Bride’s healing process.
God Help the Child is a modern-day story, told mainly from Bride’s point of view, but the reader does get to enjoy insights from Sweetness, Rain, and Bride’s best friend, Brooklyn. These and other characters alternate being the narrator, providing brief glimpses into what they tell themselves to rationalize their own behavior. Book sections are separated by the name of the character acting as narrator, so it is important to take note of the section headings.