God Help the Child

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by Toni Morrison

God Help the Child, Toni Morrison's first novel set in the present, is a sparse and unsparing narrative of how the sorrows of childhood may shape, and misshape, the adult's existence.

God Help the Child is a harrowing story about how childhood tragedy affects and misshapes adult life. Bride, a woman whose stunning blue-black skin is only one aspect of her beauty, boldness and confidence, and life success; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the most basic forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to fade...Bride loves and loses Booker, a guy whose core of rage was created in the aftermath of his adored brother's childhood death... Rain, the mysterious white girl, who discovers in Bride the only person she can talk to about her prostitute mother's abuse... and Sweetness, Bride's mother, who takes a lifetime to learn that "What you do to children has an impact. And it's possible they'll never forget."

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Our favourite quote from God Help the Child

You don't have to love me but you damn well have to respect me.

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You don't have to love me but you damn well have to respect me.

— Toni Morrison, God Help the Child