Cannonball Read #12: Homemade Love

I picked up Homemade Love by J. California Cooper at the library on a whim, mostly because it was short (175 pages), so I had no idea what to expect. It took me a while to get into it since it consists of 13 stories that basically tell a different life story. I was a little exhausting to restart a new story each chapter, and especially to get used to the fact that an exclamation point ends every other sentence, despite each story having a different narrator.

But then I got to the third chapter, "Happiness Does Not Come in Colors," and I knew that I would enjoy the rest of the stories. It was about a woman who finds inspiration to start living at the age of 30 when a new woman moves next door and inspires her. She goes to college and learns about herself and what sort of man she wants. And that new woman learns to love the white veterinarian and landlord she hated so much at the beginning. I was finally able to get invested to see what was going to happen in these characters lives, and it was fun. All of a sudden, Cooper's style started to make sense and it was as if I could hear someone telling me these stories.

Only a couple of the stories have a male protagonist or narrator. For the most part the view point of women, either as storytellers of another's life or as tellers of their own. Some of the stories even have ignorant narrators, my favorite of which is "The Watcher." A woman tells the story of all the times she's intervened in other people's lives for their own good. Essentially, it's Mary Worth with real consequences, she's meddling so much in people's lives that they move away. But she's also so sure of her goodness and that of certain members of her family that she's shocked when they leave her, too! (The exclamation points are infectious.)

Anyway, it's a fun read, mostly about women finding love, even if it's from a dorky classmate, a toothless mama's boy, or an old neighbor. And of course, the great message overriding is that it's never too late to begin to live your life to the fullest.

1 comment:

  1. OSSOM review of what sounds like a fun book!

    FUSCIA!! When you get back, you must take a look at this!!