Great read! I am never disappointed by Ms. J. California Cooper. I always seem to enjoy her books and short stories. I would have given this book 5 st...moreGreat read! I am never disappointed by Ms. J. California Cooper. I always seem to enjoy her books and short stories. I would have given this book 5 stars if it were not for a reoccurring theme that didn't sit right with me. In almost every story, there seems to be some form of abuse or domestic violence against women. In “$100 or Nothing,” Charles was off the chain!…he emotionally beat his woman down into the ground (literally). Although she was able to pull a couple of fast ones over on him, I was still so very sadden by the conditions in which Mary left this earth. In all honesty, she went down into the dirt with her heart hurting.
In “Who Are the Fools?” Once again, Mr. Rembo was off the meter!!!! He seemed to mistreat everybody! So it was with avail that he beat up on his wife. “Loved to Death” kinda echoed the same story line as the stories before and after. A misguided woman in search of self through men, sin and gin, but never to find exactly what she set out to discover. “Say What You Willowmay,” was clever, because I enjoyed watching him come back to a love he once felt was blemished. Good stuff.
“He was a Man! (but he did himself wrong),” was super dope! Here we have the same frame with a slightly different picture. We start off with the description of a big ‘ole gal and her itty bitty husband, who of course…physically and emotionally abuses her. However, when he decides to leave her…she becomes self-reliant and decides to embrace her independence. In the midst of her husband leaving, she lost weight (through stress) and began working. Thus, she catches the eye of many men’s (I love the phrase men’s, it tickles me). As a result she becomes aware of what is right and wrong for her, but as soon as she realizes who she is and what she has become…here comes itty bitty mean ‘ol husband. I will let you read the book for the rest of the story line.
Then enters, "Color Me Real." What an interesting tell of race and love. Here we are introduced to biracial Era who is really in search of identity and self. Unfortunately, Era did not find love with either one of her husbands (both of whom were of different nationalities), and upon discovering Era's race, they both physically abuse her. She eventually finds love...which was well overdue. Last but not least, I want to discuss , "The Free and the Caged." Vilma is tired of the same 'ol life, and decides to hit the road. She comes across a stranger who falls in love with her. Upon her wanting to leave this man and continue her travels, he beats her up out of "love." He really wanted her to stay with him and all of his loneliness. But guess what? Vilma leaves him, but comes back because...she loves him...ummm...I don't know about this "fairytale." I get it, but I don't...
The point I'm trying to make is…I love this writer, but is domestic violence necessary for every tale?…maybe so…I dunno…just an observation. (less)
This is the first book I’ve attempted to read in one sitting! Whoa! Asha Bandele is definitely a poet first, and a writer second! She takes us deep in...moreThis is the first book I’ve attempted to read in one sitting! Whoa! Asha Bandele is definitely a poet first, and a writer second! She takes us deep inside the bowels of a love story...the place we fear to bring up in daily conversations, but yet know exist. The unions we gossip about, as we attempt to be supportive to our friends. The incredible journeys that every woman is curious of taking, but finds it extremely difficult to let go and let love. The place in which we can experience a piece of heaven while going through hell. A place only made for the strong!
I enjoyed the overall story told, however there were times when the storyline seemed a bit scattered. There were also points that were not clearly defined or pieces seemed to be missing, thus the reason for four stars.
When younger, our momma's read us stories that came equipped with princesses and love, but this is not the tale of Princess Diana or Princess Kate. This is a "real" love story...filled with tears, crime and forgiveness. I found myself caught up in Rashid’s patience and Asha’s emotions! The realness and stillness of each character was incredible, and shows readers how "everything that glitters ain't gold," but sometimes we need to admire the "shiny stuff." This is a great read and I recommend this book to every person who believes in the audacity to love. (less)