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Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime

Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime

4.6 21
by J. California Cooper

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Whether through her stories or her legendary readings, J. California Cooper has an uncanny ability to reach out to readers like an old and dear friend.  Her characters are plain-spoken and direct: simple people for whom life, despite its ever-present struggles, is always worth the journey.

In Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime, Cooper's


Whether through her stories or her legendary readings, J. California Cooper has an uncanny ability to reach out to readers like an old and dear friend.  Her characters are plain-spoken and direct: simple people for whom life, despite its ever-present struggles, is always worth the journey.

In Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime, Cooper's characteristic themes of romance, heartbreak, struggle and faith resonate.  We meet Darlin, a self-proclaimed femme fatale who uses her wiles to try to find a husband; MLee, whose life seems to be coming to an end at the age of forty until she decides to set out and see if she can make a new life for herself; Kissy and Buddy, both trying and failing to find them until they finally meet each other; and Aberdeen, whose daughter Uniqua shows her how to educate herself and move up in the world.

These characters and others offer inspiration, laughter, instruction and pure enjoyment in what is one of J. California Cooper's finest story collections.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The heroines in Cooper's latest collection of lively, charming stories (after The Matter is Life) reaffirm the centrality of romantic, committed relationships in the lives of many African American women. Cooper, whose 1989 collection, Homemade Love won the American Book Award, offers an array of fairy tales in which downtrodden Cinderella types eventually win their Prince Charmings. Though these women possess a certain innocence, both of happiness and of passion, they fall outside the conventional ingenue mold, often being middle-aged or older. The 10 stories here generally chronicle their characters' efforts to resurrect their lives after suffering harsh losses. Although the quest for a suitable husband dominates, these women also seek control over their destinies. They change their names, start pampering themselves in small ways and, through hard labor, achieve financial independence. The stories unfold in various American cities during the present day, but exact settings are left vague. Cooper's spirited use of the first person makes every tale engaging, even if the uniformity of voice makes the narrators largely indistinguishable. With thematic concerns tending to take precedence over technique, the author unabashedly indulges our romantic sensibilities. In these tales, a good man may be hard to find-but he is definitely worth both the search and the wait. Author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Strongly, deliberately reminiscent of conversations over backyard fences, Cooper's genial, heartful new stories feature poor to middle-class black women reflecting on friends and neighbors much like themselves. The signature first-person monologs tell of women's perseverance in the face of economic and emotional hardship, both usually caused by fickle, selfish men, and of the recurrent-and sometimes fruitful-search for real love. A consistently natural vernacular enlivens these tales; readers familiar with black talk or with Cooper's other works, e.g., In Search of Satisfaction (LJ 9/1/94), will enjoy the engaging, comfortable rhythms and speech patterns. That most of these stories are little differentiated from one another in either form or content may frustrate nonfans, but most public libraries should acquire this winning if repetitive collection by a well-regarded author.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
Mary Carroll
Winner of ALA's 1988 James Baldwin Award, Cooper tells stories as a friend or relative would: her narrators weave together the pieces of their own or other people's lives in voices that seem to drift from an overstuffed parlor sofa or creaking front-porch swing. Half-sisters on opposite sides of the color line were "In Search of Satisfaction" in Cooper's last novel; the women in these 10 stories want love but often give up too much to get it. Country-bred Darlin seeks a husband in the city and learns what kind of man makes her feel like the "femme fatale" she's always believed she is. A disappointed middle-aged widow ("Do-It-Yourself Rainbows" ) takes dangerous chances to find "a life of her own." A spunky septuagenarian ("The Way It Is" ) describes her three marriages (two good, one bad but brief). Love for--and the tragic loss of--her daughter pushes an illiterate unwed mother ("A Will and a Way" ) to learn and grow and, when she's grieved long enough, to open her heart again. Involving, intimate stories.
From the Publisher
"Cooper's stories beckon. It is if she is patting the seat next to her, enticing us to come sit and listen as she tells complex tales about women, often poor women, chasing dreams of love, a house and a family."

"[Cooper] knows how to 'talk' her stories to us, as though each of them is told by a kindly and concerned friend...The sound of them is lovely, memorable, haunting."
--San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Random House
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427 KB

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Some Love, Some Pain, Some Time 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book many years ago when going through some ups and downs. I pull it out an re-read at least once a year. This is one of those books that will inspire and lift your spirits regardless of what you may be going through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first time in my life that a writer made me feel as though I knew them. A friend gave it to me while going through a though time in my life and I couldn't thank her enough. Your books will be passed on through my entire family and generations after.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A close friend introduced me to J. California Cooper some time ago and I have been hooked ever since. Her books make me feel as though I am sitting at her feet while she is telling me a good story. Buy and Enjoy ! You deserve it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best reading that I've done in many ages. Ms. Cooper has a gift of touching the soul of a woman and inspiring her to hope, to love, to dream.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Cooper knows how women feel at every angle. I love picking this book up and reading it when something is bothering me or I'm feeling discouraged. Its like sippin'on a glass of iced tea and sittin' at the kitchen table with a dear dear friend. After you read her books I guarantee that you will realize that the big problems you think you have are really not that big at all. These books are so uplifting. You learn something that you can use as a tool for the rest of your life. I love Ms. Cooper's work!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thx i gtgtb bbt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good but lots of death
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Bluepaw ran after Blackpaw after a quick thank you qith Mistyheart. She made it back to camp and saw in horror a battle. LoveClan verses CrystalClan. Blackpaw was already in a fight with Windsolo a Loveclan tom with orange on his white fur. Windsolo was winning. She leapt onto Windsolo. "Leave my friend alone!!" She yowled. Windsolo growled and flung her off. She hit a tree and fell to the ground. She limped up and tackled another apprentice, Pearlpaw who was a white she cat with blue eyes. Pearlpaw was a snob to CrystalClan and she was a Loveclan apprentice. Pearlpaw yowled when Bluepaw attacked her. She sliced and cut desperately and bluepaw ended up getting a scar on her face. Bluepaw yowled in pain and blood gushed down the side of her face. She was in alot of pain. Pearlpaw pinned her down and was about to cut her neck and Bluepaw saw Cloudpelt watching. He was smirking. Yeah hez real loyal. She thought sourly. Bluepaw sliced Pearlpaws throat and leapt to her feet. She ran to save Greentail. He was messing with a warrior because Loveclans deputy was already dead. The warrior was Dragonleaf. He was tough and Greentail was loosing. "No!!!!" She yowled and pounced on Dragonleaf. She sliced his eyes and then sliced his throat and ran to Greentail he was dying. "No...Greentail!" She sobbed. "Watch out for Cloudpelt..." he muttered and died. She yowled in agony and she saw a shadow. Cloudpelt. She hissed and he growled rudely and she sliced his eyes. He stumbled and she ran to Shimmerstar where Lovestar was killing her. Spottedpaw, CrystalClans medicine she kit apprentice, had told Bluepaw and Blackpaw she was on her last life and Spottedpaw told blackpaw qho told her that Lovestar was on her last life too. "No!!! Shimmerstar!!!" She rushed over to the fighting leaders and then......SLASH!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story of learning to love, being loved and defining love ... 'Some love, Some pain, Some time' is ideal for all women but I found that as a single women that love is not as cut and dry as we read in Webster's Dictionary ... no it's much more; J California Cooper explores variations of love ... 'true' love; you have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Know what you want for yourself. Don't rely on others to provide you with happiness, your joy is your responsibility.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Cooper has managed to capture the love and overcomingness of the Black women in these short stories. They entertain and inspire. For all the read!!!