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Love
by Toni Morrison

Overview - What We're Reading Now:
"Like with all the rest of her books, this one also left me spellbound."
Mary Monroe, Author of God Don't Like Ugly, The Upper Room, Gonna Lay Down My Burdens, and God STILL Don't Like Ugly.
From the internationally acclaimed Nobel laureate comes a richly conceived novel that illuminates the full spectrum of desire.
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More About Love by Toni Morrison
 
 
 
Overview
What We're Reading Now:
"Like with all the rest of her books, this one also left me spellbound."
Mary Monroe, Author of God Don't Like Ugly, The Upper Room, Gonna Lay Down My Burdens, and God STILL Don't Like Ugly.
From the internationally acclaimed Nobel laureate comes a richly conceived novel that illuminates the full spectrum of desire. May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida -- even L: all women obsessed by Bill Cosey. More than the wealthy owner of the famous Cosey Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, friend, yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is both the void in, and the centre of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces -- a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial. This audacious vision of the nature of love -- its appetite, its sublime possession, its dread -- is rich in characters and striking scenes, and in its profound understanding of how alive the past can be. A major addition to the canon of one of the world's literary masters. "This is coast country, humid and God fearing, where female recklessness runs too deep for short shorts or thongs or cameras. But then or now, decent underwear or none, wild women never could hide their innocence -- a kind of pitty-kitty hopefulness that their prince was on his way. Especially the tough ones with their box cutters and dirty language, or the glossy ones with two-seated cars and a pocketbook full of dope. Even the ones who wear scars like Presidential medals and stockings rolled at their ankles can't hide the sugar-child, the winsome baby girl curled up somewhere inside, between the ribs, say, or under the heart. -- from Love

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780375409448
  • ISBN-10: 0375409440
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: October 2003
  • Page Count: 208


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Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Toni Morrison's alluring look at love

Readers perplexed by Toni Morrison's lengthy seventh novel, Paradise, will find her new one more to their liking. Titled Love, the book succeeds both as an entertainment and a moral tale. Bill Cosey, the charismatic Gatsby-like figure at its center, attracts many women. In the end, Morrison allows the reader to see him clearly, through the eyes of the only two who understood him—a "sporting woman" named Celestial and a hotel cook called "L."

Love begins and ends with L's narrative. Now an old woman embarrassed by the world rappers inhabit, L thinks back 40 years to "when Cosey's Hotel was the best and best-known vacation spot for colored folk on the East Coast" and the upper classes came from as far away as Michigan and New York for the dance music, the starlit ocean, the ambience.

Morrison next shifts the point of view to follow Junior Viviane, a sexy young stranger in a too-short skirt. Readers go with her to the house of the two hate-filled old Cosey women. One is Christine, Bill Cosey's well-educated granddaughter; the other is Heed (short for Heed the Night), a low-class girl he bought to marry when she was 11. As old women they despise each other, but in childhood they were close. Heed hires Junior as her ally against Christine.

The secrets of the past permeate this story like the heavy sweet scent of southern citrus flowers. All six women in the novel once idealized Bill Cosey as father or husband or guardian or friend—whatever their desperate need.

Sandler Gibbons, a man who knew Cosey better than most, acts as a moral center for the novel. How do you know people? By what they do, he says. Gibbons passes his wisdom on to his teenaged grandson, Romen, pointing out that the boy isn't helpless in the face of evil.

In this beautifully told tale, the author prompts readers to value moral choices, yet never to discount the power of love or temptation.

Anne Morris is a reviewer from Austin, Texas.

 
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