Sunday Morning Reads will be a weekly segment in which I will discuss the book, or perhaps books, I am reading that morning. I do this because Sundays are the days I devote to reading as much as I can. As soon as I wake up, I make tea or coffee and begin reading in earnest. For hours. That’s why Sunday is my favorite day of the week!
This morning, I am reading (and very likely finishing) Toni Morrison’s latest novel, God Help the Child. Reading a Toni Morrison novel is a daunting but thrilling task due to her significance as a literary figure.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—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.”
A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
I am almost done with this slim, 178-page novel and am thoroughly enjoying it. Here is an except from not too far into the story that reveals the nature of the protagonist, Bride, and her mother’s relationship.
I always knew she didn’t like touching me. I could tell. 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 lap my face of 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 — bed without supper, lock me in my room–but her screaming at me was the worst.
Reading this novel and not comparing it to her debut, The Bluest Eye, is difficult. The latter is my personal favorite Morrison novel, so I’m trying not let my fondness of her previous work color my opinion of God Help the Child.
I will also be starting the Nebula Award nominated, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. I am beyond excited. Check out the beautiful cover!
This is going to be a great Sunday morning!
What are you reading today?