Black, white and shades of grey – the tale of two Christmas reads

Christmas is a great time for many things, not least for yielding some concentrated reading time.  Unlike the last few years where my reading has been done in front of a log fire, or less romantically, under a duvet and within (literally) 3 layers of clothing, this Christmas the reading was done sometimes outside on a beach and sometimes inside lying in front of a fan trying to escape the suffocating heat.

Over the break, I read God Help the Child, by Toni Morrison and then The Green Road, by Anne Enright. Literary giants in their respective countries, the author’ pretexts for these novels couldn’t be more different. In Morrison’s book the protagonist, Bride, is ‘ebony-black and panther-like’, to the extent that her own mother can’t tolerate her: ‘It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong.