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Communion: The Female Search for Love (Love Trilogy)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,182 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Renowned visionary and theorist bell hooks began her exploration of the meaning of love in American culture with the critically acclaimed All About Love: New Visions. She continued her national dialogue with the bestselling Salvation: Black People and Love. Now hooks culminates her triumphant trilogy of love with Communion: The Female Search for Love.

Intimate, revealing, p
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 22nd 2002 by William Morrow (first published 2002)
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Polly Trout
Apr 03, 2009 Polly Trout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I love bell hooks in general, but happened to read this book at exactly the right time in my life so that it was a profound and transformative experience; it is always gratifying to see my own philosophy laid out in print with articulate grace, and "Communion" was deeply affirming in that way. hooks agrees with Fromm that love is an art form, "an action informed by care, respect, knowledge, and responsibility." hooks says that it is not possible to have love and domination at ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Kelechi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bell hooks remains, to me, an irreplaceable voice in the discourse of feminism and love.
Through hooks, I have gained more insight into the areas of conflict present in my understanding of love and my relationship towards love. Her writing has introduced me to the idea of non-sexual romantic relationships and it just all makes sense, like, all of it.
I appreciate her insistence that men and women are not from different planets and the commitment she shows towards the disparaging holds of "gender
Mar 10, 2015 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has some really great stuff in it, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to people. But it still has its flaws. A group of my friends decided to read it and then get together and talk about it, and in going back through and pulling out quotes for discussion from pages I’ve marked, I can get a good sense of what I did and didn’t like about it.

The subtitle of the book is “The Female Search for Love.” And yet, despite “love” being integral to this whole book and all her ideas, bell h
Mar 31, 2014 Vicky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, on-love
I would have abandoned Communion at the first chapter if it weren't for a book club I wanted to attend. I'm glad I finished it even though I didn't really enjoy it. A lot of generalizing statements in here. I'm not interested in her use of "most women" and "we." bell hooks will be like, "MOST WOMEN had fathers who left them which is why WE seek out men who are emotionally unavailable." This happens throughout the book. Here's another one: "Lesbians, like all women, come from families where dysfu ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Klelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i read this at amandas wearing the bee costume and i also want to give this to my mom. she unpacks all the conflated societal messages while writing directly and encouragingly. we can choose love amidst a culture of lovelessness, which is to say a culture of domination, control, and exploitation of power. we can create positive self esteem as the basis for self love and living fully. love takes work and energy, as does constructing a space for mutuality.
she references and critiques contemporary
bell hooks is a feminist theorist and writer and this is part of a group of books she wrote about love. This one examines love from a female perspective, delving deeply into feminist theory, where feminism both succeeded and failed, and the utter importance of learning how to love for everyone (not just women). She discusses the importance of loving yourself before you can love anyone else, and the fact that love cannot exist in patriarchal relationships. She discusses the false idea that women ...more
i wish i could give this book to a younger version of myself because it states so plainly a lot of things i took too long to figure out for myself. that is to say, i really like and appreciate what she's saying here, but i think i read it about 5 years too late? even so, there is much here to chew on. hooks makes the important, oft understated, point that patriarchy keeps men AND women from really knowing and loving themselves. self-love as a foundation for honest, non-dominating relationships i ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Krysten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
ok, I liked it, but I have to say, it was very second-wavey, and honestly? the works hooks quotes are more insightful and incisive than the actual text of this book. but. I met this book at a very good time in my life.
An engrossing read, although its resonance suffered since I was clearly not the target audience (since I am not a middle-aged woman at the turn of the millennium). Pros: a wonderful, nuanced discussion on how the patriarchy really screws with both women and men when it comes to love and relationships; a sadly accurate analysis of girl-on-girl hate; an interesting history of Hooks and her experiences in the feminist movement. Cons: Lots of generalizations, lots of assumptions, and confusing look ...more
Jun 03, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Choosing love, we affirm our agency, our commitment to personal growth, and our emotional openness.

Saying no to any devaluation and debasement of the female body is a loving practice.

"Everything is bearable when there is love. My wish is that you try to give more people more love. The only thing that lives forever is love." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Love is the foundation on which we build the house of our dreams. It's a house with many rooms. Relationships are part of the house, but they are not
Sep 16, 2007 Jamia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
bell hooks always has the elixer when my soul needs healing....i have read many of her books during times when i have felt shattered and scattered... and her words have been the glue that has helped get me back together... last night i delved back into the chapter "gaining power, losing love" at 2 am... i remember how much i loved it when i first read it... and its healing power holds firm today... hooks makes no excuses... she doesn't just accept things the way they are. she knows that without ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Carolyne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like feminist theory/thinking, this is definitely a great read, and written by one of the best. bell hooks critiques the concept of ‘love’ from a feminist perspective as well as her own personal stories. Even though women’s liberation has made it possible for women to enjoy power, jobs and money, so many women are stuck in relationships that are either love-less or un-loving, and often consciously or sub-consciously accept subordination when it comes to loving men. Why? She urges men and ...more
Feb 11, 2008 Afrose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Communion threw some heavy truths at me; some things that seemed obvious on the page but when juxtaposed against my life, sort of shocked me out of my body. The last few chapters were extremely useful, as they explored different ways to be in relationship with other people. The chapter on Romantic Friendships talks about a kind of partnership where two women build a life together that isn't sexual, and yet they share a home and plan their lives together. This was a beautiful way for me to descri ...more
Oct 28, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman conducts a library tour for her lover from far away. All blue hair and fuzz they are together. bell hooks I read. I read some bell hooks I gush. Tell me one thing you got out of it. You don't fall in love, you choose it. I don't fall in love. I don't need to fall in love. I can choose to fall in love. That's what he has been sayin'! I am love. I am a lovebian.

This has a lot for middle age women. I decided not to quit Christmas because I want to give this book as a present to my mom. Is i
Rianna Jade
Jun 29, 2012 Rianna Jade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of reading books that insist men are from mars and women are from venus, this should be required reading for all. bell hooks skillfully powers through the myths and unequal paradims in heterosexual relationships. This book above all will teach you that your greatest power is learning that you can save yourself, love yourself and be everything for you. bell also sheds light on romantic friendships, lesbian love and being a witness to love. Communion, where we share and experience with eac ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any woman struggling with what it means to be a woman
Recommended to Emily by: Brene Brown, I think, and
Shelves: nonfiction
"We wanted to be the equals of men in every way, and we wanted to be ourselves, and we were not sure that those two journeys would take us to the same place."

"He defines these six pillars as the practice of living consciously, of self-acceptance, of self-responsibility, of self-assertiveness, of living purposefully, and of personal integrity. Of these, self-acceptance is particularly hard for females. Branden defines self-acceptance as the 'refusal to be in an adversarial relationship to myself.
Apr 01, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In bell hooks’ opinion, the modern feminist movement has failed in its discussion of love and the search for love. She wants a widespread discussion and acknowledgement of the necessity of love, both for the self, and for other actualized partners. Although her book was not too in depth (it is mostly a surface awareness of the issues and how they pertain to sexism), I still found it enlightening.
When hooks described that the mother and daughter rivalry and discordance is actually perpetuated an
Jun 28, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I wished for more intersectional analysis, I really enjoyed this book. It touched on many of the issues I have with feminism and the devalutation of the emotional. And it provided a decent framework for building new romantic bonds that affirm (rather than discourage) women's self-actualization.
Ami Kismet
Jan 17, 2014 Ami Kismet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Again, hooks hots the nail on the head. This book left me feeling open and hopeful, full of possibility. She writes from the perspective of a woman at midlife, but her words resonated with me (25) as much as, I am sure, they would resonate with any woman aware of a wanting for love. Hooks is poignant, specific. She calls for women AND men to acknowledge their longing for love, not as a weakness but a strength that makes us all the more human as we seek it. She describes a life that is complex, f ...more
Sarah Jane
Sep 18, 2011 Sarah Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all the feminist ladies
Bell Hooks is simply amazing, and this book is what made me fall in love with her work. There is a serious lack of books in the world about feminism, love, and relationships--but here is one, thats amazing! Every word is magic.
Oct 29, 2007 Shana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of bell hooks' love trilogy - All About Love, Salvation, and Communion. I recommend all three but Communion is a must-read for any enlightened woman.
Jessi Luckett
Aug 08, 2016 Jessi Luckett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very similar to all about love, not as good.
Jul 31, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first few chapters were hard to read because it evoked such raw/personalized emotions and I had to set it down for a while. Once I continued reading, hope, inspiration, and knowledge replaced the "unsettling" emotions. Integrating her own personal experiences, citing other writings (feminists and mainstream), and referring to examples of pop culture, Hooks does a wonderful job of educating the reader that love (self, family, friends, romantic) and personal power (independence, economic) do n ...more
Kathleen Gregory
Nov 22, 2015 Kathleen Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amen. This book put much of what I've been thinking about as a mid-life feminist into cultural perspective.

bell hooks writes of love in the broadest sense, and focuses on the necessity of self-love in particular. hooks disassembles false binaries that shape women's choices and advocates for a much richer exploration of that ways that confidence, relationships and power shape women - and men's - opportunity to develop deep love.

While the narrative is at times redundant, hooks' points are well t
Jul 16, 2016 Nour rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cover to cover filled with growth, realisation and affirmation. Absolutely a must read.
May 24, 2010 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i read both of her memoirs a few years ago and keep thinking back to this book! re-read!
Jan 29, 2013 Emilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twenty-thirteen

I picked this book up on a whim after poking around in the library's gender studies section. Since I've never read much feminist literature at all, I decided to read it as I'd heard many good things about bell hooks & her writing from Rookie and various other feminist blogs.

That being said, I think this book is a pretty good introduction to the social issues that affect women, especially in their search for love. Among its topics, hooks discusses the importance of self-love, of love between
박은정 Park
Jun 24, 2015 박은정 Park rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to 박은정 by: R
친구네 집에서 책이 굴러다니고 있어서 집어 들었는데, 요즘 주변에서 많이 논의되고 있는 내용이라 (번역이 약간 거부감 드는 말투임에도) 흥미를 가지고 보게되었다.

제목에서 예상할 수는 없었지만 양성 평등에 관한 내용인데, 그동안 내가 인종적, 성적, 신체적 평등 등에 관해 얼마나 무심했는지 알 수 있었던 것 같다. 어조가 다소 강하긴 하지만, 언제나 그렇듯 다양한 색조의 강한 의견을 다 들으면 회색보다 깊은 합에 이를 수 있다고 생각한다.

그 뿐 아니라, 지난 몇 년간 내가 느꼈던 일련의 감정이나 생각들이 다른 누군가의 새로운 용어를 통해 정의되고,
실제로 어떤 나라에서는 그런 일들이 수십년 전부터 있었다는 말에 안도감을 느꼈다.
게다가 세상에는 소유하고 지배하려고 하는 가부장적인 사람들만 있지는 않다는 말에서 희망을 느낄 수 있었다.

흥미로운 책이다. 나에게는 좋은 책이었다.
Amy VanGundy
May 25, 2016 Amy VanGundy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not an authority on this topic at all, but for me it was great, very calm, loving introduction into this area: women, relationships, the need for love, feminism, how that's all supposed to work together in theory, but doesn't seem to so much in real life. So if you've been wondering about any of those things, this could be a good book for you. There are many directions that you could go after reading this book. I certainly wrote down many of titles hook's included for further reading. I appr ...more
Dec 31, 2014 LaChelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always find solace through bell hooks works on love. In this books, she talks about how we must find love in and through ourselves for it to truly manifest in our lives. Body image, aging, healthy friendships and learning to select people who are well-equipped for loving us are some of the topics she addresses. I loved this addition to her 3 part series on love.
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Bell Hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in ...more
More about bell hooks...

Other Books in the Series

Love Trilogy (3 books)
  • All About Love: New Visions
  • Salvation: Black People and Love

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“Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.” 257 likes
“Think of all the women you know who will not allow themselves to be seen without makeup. I often wonder how they feel about themselves at night when they are climbing into bed with intimate partners. Are they overwhelmed with secret shame that someone sees them as they really are? Or do they sleep with rage that who they really are can be celebrated or cared for only in secret?” 159 likes
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