Discussion Notes: God Help the Child

Next month’s novel: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Rated: Adult Themes

Lovelyn Bettison discusses God Help the Child.

Lovelyn Bettison

This month we’re joined by Lovelyn Bettison, author of Perfect Family and The Box. She is an avid reader of magical realism and a fan of Toni Morrison, who influences her work. You can buy her books on her website: lovelynbettison.com. Listeners of our weekly show may remember Lovelyn from our discussion of Zadie Smith’s “Escape from New York.”

Join Anais, Maya, and Lovelyn as they discuss Toni Morrison’s latest novel God Help the Child. The book follows primarily Bride and Booker as they try to find their adult identities, but are weighed down by the burden of childhood traumas.

The hosts analyze how Morrison’s prose departs from her usual style. At the same time, they highlight the ways in which this more subtle story remains quintessentially Morrison. For Lovelyn, the book’s magical realist elements tickled her imagination. Meanwhile Maya found the emotional of the book a bit muted. As for Anais, the relationship between shifts in point of view and theme seemed like a puzzle worth cracking.

What is Morrison saying about childhood trauma, and is there hope? Listen and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer, leave a voicemail by clicking on the feature to the left. By the way, we may play your voicemail on our next show, so tell us if you would prefer we did not.

We (try to) air the first Friday of every month, and discuss the books on Twitter between shows using #LRHBookclub.

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