My response to Morrison’s most recent novel, God Help the Child, will be as brief as the 178 pages that comprise it; I am aiming for 178 words. & so it is:
Undoubtedly, brevity is (one of) Morrison’s genius. From exploring the Middle Passage to the supernatural, racism, feminism, & Christianity to nature, memory, & touch, Morrison’s fiction is as thorough as Homer’s epics & as beautifully succinct as Bashō’s haikus. However, while her pithiness works for The Bluest Eye, Sula, Jazz, Love, A Mercy, & Home, it doesn’t work as well for God Help the Child. In other words, It needs more. It needs more character description & more complex suspicion.
Don’t get me wrong. God Help the Child is definitely a page turner. But, a couple characters are irrelevant, while others are underdeveloped. Additionally, Bride, the main character, is absolutely transparent. Her name, appearance, & trials are emphatically obvious. Yet, Morrison’s genius prohibits one from stopping short of finishing her text. Readers have to know what happens to Bride.
Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely.