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Summary and book reviews of Love by Toni Morrison

Love
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2003, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 208 pages

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Book Summary

This audacious exploration into the nature of love is rich in characters, striking scenes and a profound understanding of how alive the past can be.

May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida–even L: all women obsessed with Bill Cosey. The wealthy owner of the famous Cosey’s Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend, yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is either the void in, or the center of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces–a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial.

This audacious exploration into the nature of love–its appetite, its sublime possession, its dread–is rich in characters, striking scenes, and a profound understanding of how alive the past can be.

The day she walked the streets of Silk, a chafing wind kept the temperature low and the sun was helpless to move outdoor thermometers more than a few degrees above freezing. Tiles of ice had formed at the shoreline and, inland, the thrown-together houses on Monarch Street whined like puppies. Ice slick gleamed, then disappeared in the early evening shadow, causing the sidewalks she marched along to undermine even an agile tread, let alone one with a faint limp. She should have bent her head and closed her eyes to slits in that weather, but being a stranger, she stared wide-eyed at each house, searching for the address that matched the one in the advertisement: One Monarch Street. Finally she turned into a driveway where Sandler Gibbons stood in his garage door ripping the seam from a sack of Ice-Off. He remembers the crack of her heels on concrete as she approached; the angle of her hip as she stood there, the melon sun behind her, the garage light in her face. He remembers the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Love tells the story of Bill Cosey and the women who love him, fight over him, make him miserable, and finally drive him to his grave. As the novel begins, Mr. Cosey has long-since died under suspicious circumstances, but his memory and his presence live on inspiring a deep and lasting hatred between his granddaughter Christine and his widow Heed. As youngsters, Christine and Heed were best friends until the day Mr. Cosey decided he would take Heed, at the tender age of eleven, for his wife. From that moment, bitterness and envy drove the friends apart, and now they live together in an enmity so deep and so rancorous that it seems only the death of one...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Globe and Mail

In [Morrison’s] landscape, ghosts mingle with runaway slaves and wild men and women of the forest. Nothing and no one is ordinary, and perceptions shift as she reinvents the world.

Library Journal

Love is an elegantly shaped epic of infatuation, enslavement, and liberation: a rich symbolic mystery that grows steadily more eloquent and disturbing as its meanings clarify and grip the reader. One of Morrison's finest, and a heartening return to Nobel-worthy form.

Publishers Weekly

Morrison has crafted a gorgeous, stately novel whose mysteries are gradually unearthed.

Toronto Star

In each of her six novels she excavates the past, tunneling through atrocities and griefs to reach back into an American history that has been long buried. The denied past becomes a ghost that haunts the present; old bones won’t stay safely underground.

Author Blurb Catherine Bush
There’s no escaping love in Toni Morrison’s novels: it’s a difficult, complicated, ferocious force that runs like a deep and turbulent river through all her fiction, sometimes transporting and sometimes destroying people. It’s no wonder her own characters cry out against it.

Reader Reviews

Mei

Classic Toni
As with Paradise , Beloved and The Bluest Eyes, Love makes you start all over again reading. It's like, How did I miss that? Why didn't I see that ? Toni takes you to another level with each novel. I anxiously await the next.

EZ

It was an excellent book, took me on a deep exploration of the human psyche. Having read 90% of Morrison's work, I was delighted to find that Love follows in the footsteps of her previous writing. The language is amazing, convoluted with hints and ...   Read More

K.V.RAJU, SBI, ZO, TRIVANDRUM


All her writings are of love in its varied versions. It is all about love lost and love regained. It assumed a socialistic elevation in her Paradise - true to her view that black literature is not for substituting the totalizing tendencies of the ...   Read More

Anonymous

I would like to say that Toni Morrison has outdone herself this time with Love, but that would be a lie! For every book that I have read of hers, I have come away in deep thought, often finding some aspect of her stories that mirror my life or those...   Read More

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