Well dear book lovers, I finished reading Madame Toni Morrison’s book, Love! My emotions are all touched up! This must have been her plan from the beginning of this book to the end. In my previous post I said the Valentine red colored dust jacket held much promise, but this book is definitely NOT exploring love from that Hallmark card, cliche filled chocolate candy having place! Our writer Toni Morrison is studying love from a place of longing, a place of unfulfilled desire, not so much sexual but existential. These black people in this black beach town community are all seeking for something that’s eluding them one way or the other.
This story revolves around one man, the deceased Bill Cosey, who was a rich and charming black hotel and resort owner back in the 40’s, and the women who still love him. The story spans decades and is being told from the past and present, after Bill Cosey has died. Even after death, he has a strong hold on the women of the story all who desire him for the fulfillment of each of their personal love longings. There’s L who started working for Bill Cosey when she was a very young woman and continued working for him until his death; there’s Heed, his child bride and second wife to whom he left all his wealth and property, who’s determined to keep a tight hold on it; there’s Christine, Bill’s granddaughter and Heed’s best friend, up until the friends were separated when Bill married the eleven year old Heed; there’s May, Christine’s mother and Bill’s daughter-in-law, who was once married to Bill’s beloved only son, Billy Boy, and who also has an intense hatred for the child-bride; there’s Vida who also worked for Bill Cosey as a domestic, which was a grateful step up in her;
and then there’s Junior, a young woman who escapes her traumatic past and who manages to get a room in the Cosey house. She lives in a room under the dead eyed stare of Bill Cosey, and in the eyes of his portrait she tries to find acceptance.
Toni Morrison explores the depths of love as well as the heights of love; what people are capable of when they feel they don’t have love–when it’s stolen from them and what they would do to get it back. This is about love turned to hate and back to love. This is a story of obsession and acquiescense. This is about agape love. My fellow book lovers, I have stepped into a new realm of my reading journey! Some of you experienced this kind of great writing long ago or early in your reading careers. Some of you have read those greats, such as Faulkner, and the like (I haven’t, but I’m seriously considering it). I am just starting on this leg of my reading career, and on the 21st, I’ll be 49 years old! I’m now ready and excited to continue my journey!