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Love

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  9,444 ratings  ·  685 reviews
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison’s spellbinding new novel is a Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town.

In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, d
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Vintage (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,444 ratings  ·  685 reviews


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Rowena
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty.”– Toni Morrison, Love

It’s almost September and I’ve managed to keep my Morrison-a-month reading streak alive. Eight Morrison’s later and she never fai
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Dolors
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dolors by: My thirst to know
Shelves: read-in-2017
Morrison directs a cacophony of voices, hazy facts and anachronistic timelines that converge into the ever-changing, multi-faceted meaning of “love”.
At the center of the story, the ghostly figure of Bill Cosey, the iconic owner of a prestigious hotel located in the East Coast in the forties; and orbiting around his powerful absence, the shifting testimonies of different women who played an important role in his life… and death.

Can a man grieving for the loss of his wife and son find solace in y
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Jason Koivu
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Women clawing at and after the same man is a horrific thing to see, but hella fun to read!

Maybe "fun" isn't the perfect word to describe Toni Morrison's Love.* This is Faulknerian, not only in its language and flow, but its molasses-thick-and-dark emotional resonance. Love is like seeing a feminine take on Absalom! Absalom!: a beautifully shadowy Southern power; a corrupting energy that devours good souls.

An aloof man of substantial means in a Floridian coastal town of decades past is the sun ar
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Maria Espadinha
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Dark Side of Love


In a solid historical background, emphasizing a variety of cruelties perpetrated towards women, “Love” explores the negative side of the feeling that goes by the same name.

In the plot, a rich man dies, leaving behind a small bunch of women fighting for his possessions.
The strong bonding each woman shared with the deceased male, triggered all sorts of rivalries between them.

What else can I say?!...
Sometimes the beauty, sometimes the poignancy!...
Moon has a dark side too! 🌝 🌚
...more
Tracy Darity
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Love" was typical Toni Morrison. It starts out requiring 110% of your intellectual being, otherwise, you are lost from the gate. And that is what happened to me. This book was very confusing and hard to get into. The character depictions, the indepth descriptions of a oceanside town, the timelines, spirits from the sea claiming lives,etc was just too much to concentrate on. I often found myself going back and rereading passages to figure out relationhips amongst the characters. It wasn't until ...more
Zanna
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe my mind was elsewhere (that’s generally the case these days) but this felt smudged like an old photograph, or an old movie cut up and rearranged out of sequence, until the last 50 pages, when everything started snapping into focus sharp enough to cut.

If this book is relatively obscure among TM’s work, I guess it’s the subject matter that some find hard to stomach; all these child brides and sociopaths and bodies frail, damaged, at risk, humiliating, only rarely a source of pleasure and del
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Natalie Richards
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-book
I found this book to be a bit disjointed and found it really difficult to connect to any of the characters. Why they were all fighting over the same (horrible) man, is beyond me!
Erica
Dammit to hell, Toni Morrison.
Why do you do this?

I really need to read this author more than once every seven years because I always forget what a beating she doles out in her worn but lovely velvet gloves.

Here is a pictorial representation of what it's like to read a Toni Morrison novel, this one being no exception:

Going along, so lovely. There’s an undercurrent of discomfort but just pull your jacket tighter and you’ll be fine. It’s worth it for the view.
 photo Estes Park winter_zpsgkjdrurz.jpg


Only then there’s a crack, a loud s
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Michael Finocchiaro
For me, Love is in the second tier of Morrison novels along with Tar Baby, Paradise, and Sula. It is the story of a black seaside community and the lives of four women who gravitate around the owner of the local hotel. The narration is non-linear as per usual with Morrison and we learn the stories of the women from their own voices, stories of abuse and neglect and manipulation. I was happy that the two protagonists that are set at each other throats come together at the end to confront their di ...more
Joseph Sciuto
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Toni Morrison, in my opinion, is the James Joyce of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21th century. She is part of that rarefied stratosphere of artists that has risen way above the clouds and shines like one of the brightest stars in the universe.

Ms. Morrison's "Love," published in 2005 is another brilliant and mesmerizing work of artistry that left this reader mystified and in total awe. Her use of words, her development of characters and story, and the composition
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Lyn Elliott
I've been thinking about what to write for a month since I finished reading Love, waiting to be clear about what I want to say.
That moment may never come, so now I'm launching in and will come back to add more later.
It wasn't until the end of the book that I began to understand the title in all its complexity.
It feels as though Morrison is exploring ways in which love may be warped, corrupted, twisted; here ending mostly in hurt and hatred. The only exception to this is the tiny family unit of g
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Dominic
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The worlds of Toni Morrison are rarely beautiful places. They are landscapes covered with scars and suffering, bruises and bitterness. Yet the way she writes these places into life and imagination leaves me exhilarated every time. And when I put one of her books down for the first time, it calls me back into in immediately. I can't wait to re-read Love. And like all Morrison novels, it actually requires re-reading.

In the lively spirit of William Faulkner, Morrison entangles readers in a web of c
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Tifnie
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
?? I'm not too sure I know what I read. This book is about 200 pages and what I thought I could finish in a couple of days, if not one, ended up taking the better part of 3 to 4 weeks.

Love, if I understand correctly, is about a perverted wealthy old man who ends up marrying an 11 year old girl and eventually has this child take on the business of a running a resort. Much to the dismay of his actual blood family. Thankfully, the author didn't go into detail regarding the relationship between the
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Nadine Larter
Holy hell. I did not enjoy this book. This book is not entertainment. At all. It is a gut wrenching piece of pure raw honesty about how life is. My insides are sour. I can feel the blood in my veins. My heart is pounding. Be warned that it is full of triggers. It might be best to keep that in mind for those who are sensitive to them. Shit. I can't even get my words out. Nothing made sense. And then it all made sense. And now I feel sick. I didn't enjoy reading this book. It wasn't like my favour ...more
Kenneth Wade
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations, 2018
Nothing I write here will be able to describe the subtle power of Morrison’s writing. This is my 3rd novel of hers and I don’t think she is capable of one-dimensional characters.

This novel, Love, is atmospheric and gripping as it shifts between timelines and characters, allowing the conclusion to take its time in arriving. The characters are all kinds of morally gray and complex, and there are (arguably) no heroes or villains.

4.75 out of 5 stars
Jalena
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There are so many quotes in this book that I want to write down and remember forever. Beautifully written, amazingly crafted story of the complexity of love, human relationships, family, betrayal, innocence, and friendship. It raises fascinating questions about what love really means and whether most are capable of giving it for reasons other than selfish gain, or to meet a personal need. Every character's story is told from various perspectives, not always in order. while this makes the book a ...more
Amanda
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. My first Toni Morrison, and one of her least read books. It took extra focus than I could give on my breaks at work, so I finished most of it at home in a proper reading session. It was a little hard to keep track of or know what the focus of the story was meant to be. That said, Morrison is an incredible writer and I look forward to reading more of work. (I also own Beloved and Paradise.) This is another entry for my project reading a book from each year of my life, in order.
Leslie Reese
Beautifully written; I just didn't like it.
Carl R.
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I guess I see a little what all the complaining is about. Love received such tepid reviews I was almost afraid to read for fear it would bring Toni Morrison down from her (all right, my) pedestal. I shouldn’t have worried. This is not Morrison at full power. It’s neither Song of Solomon nor Beloved, but eighty or ninety per cent of Tony Morrison is worth a hundred and twenty per cent of almost anyone else.
All over the world, traitors help progress. It’s like being exposed to tuberculosis. Afte
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Amena
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you pick up a Morrison, you know what you will get. It's likely to be a masterpiece about terrible circumstances written in a gentle, matter-of-fact way. You won't be wrong. The way she describes the raw, terrible, and beautiful nature of the human spirit is mesmerising. Very few people can do what she does.

Don't be fooled by the title of this one. LOVE is actually about hatred and bitterness, rather than the pure form of love we all know and understand. When we do glimpse love, it seems t
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Caidyn (he/him/his)
CW: child marriage and implied sex with a child bride

I wanted to like this book more. I picked it because 1) it's Black History Month, 2) I really enjoy Toni Morrison, and 3) I felt that it might fit with the whole Valentine's day thing. But, I didn't like this as much as others I've read by her.

Really, this book is convoluted and revolves around many women's relationship with Bill Cosey, who isn't ever on the screen. There's his granddaughter, the woman he married when she was a little girl, an
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Shatarupa  Dhar
Synopsis:
Forty years hence, Cosey’s Oceanfront Resort is nothing but a ruin. A girl stops on Sandler Gibbons’ doorstep to ask for directions to an address which he recognises as the Cosey women’s. This leads to the opening of a can of worms from the past when Vida Gibbons, his wife, and his grandson Romen come back home from their work.

The young woman is one Junior Viviane, there for a job as the secretary to Mrs Heed Cosey. A secretary for the purposes of verifying what Heed is writing, whi
...more
Saige
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really unsure about this one at first. It just didn't seem like my kind of book. I've never been more happy to be wrong. This novel is a beautiful examination of the relationship between two women, Heed and Christine. They seem to hate each other, but underneath the surface is a lifetimes worth of love and shame all twisted together until hatred was all they knew how to express. I felt deeply for both these women. Their lives were intertwined with Mr. Cosey. I loved the way Morrison explor ...more
Margaret Carmel
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my fifth Morrison novel and I honestly don't understand why this book doesn't have more notoriety. I have so much to say, but I don't want to ruin the plot so I will attempt to be as vague as possible while still being helpful.

Love is the story of a group of women who are tied together by their relationship with the former owner of a fancy hotel that used to be a famous pre-desegregation vacation spot for black people in a fading beach town. At it's heart are Christine and Heed who live
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Kelly
I admit it, I was taken aback by Morrison's Love. Not being a big fan of hers, I usually steer clear of her books. Too much violence, too much anger, and to be honest, that shack scene from Beloved still kinda haunts me. But what what I do love is, well, love and I found it here in all it's variations, scars showing proud. Disarming and warm, Morrison welcomes you in from the very beginning making no promises of happy endings and it's that very honesty that makes you want to climb up on her lap ...more
Lulu
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book pulled me in from the beginning. I'm in love with Toni Morrison and her prose....even if it takes three readings to understand. lol.

I'll admit I was pretty clueless while reading, trying to figure out who, what, when, and where, but when I let all of that go and just let the story unfold it was tragic beauty.

This is my favorite Toni Morrison novel....of the ones I've read.
Mary Durrant
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Read for a group read.
Not my usual genre.
Past and present are interwoven into the narrative.
I found it a bit confusing at times to follow who was narrating and found the ending a bit unbelievable.
It did leave me yearning for a classic!
Ka’leneReads
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audibles, morrison
This is a GoodRead!
tortoise dreams
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the lives of children are interrupted by the lives of adults.

Love is Toni Morrison's eighth (of 11) novel, her least read, and one of her least-liked books. I'm not quite sure why as it has her usual brilliant writing, real-as-life characters, and a story that Faulkner or Marquez would've been proud to claim. On the other hand, it's dark, twisted, and although a short book (circa 200 pages) it's a slow read, every sentence requiring the reader to pay attention. I found it easily accessible
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Bhavya Viswarajan
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it

Vladimir Nabokov says books should be read with the spine. Not with the heart, not with the brain, but the spine, for it is there that “occurs the telltale tingle “.Toni Morrison’s ‘Love’ - I felt the tingle in my spine, I felt the throb in my heart, and I felt the cogs of my brain set to work.

Stretch out your hands. Grab the palms of Toni Morrison. She takes you to Silk, to the ‘Cosey Hotel’. The scent of cinnamons. Something citrus. You’ve been here before. But the company is definitely more
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12,719 followers
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
...more

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“Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!” 101 likes
“Nowadays silence is looked on as odd and most of my race has forgotten the beauty of meaning much by saying little. Now tongues work all day by themselves with no help from the mind.” 43 likes
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