My Thoughts About Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime: Stories by J. California Cooper (Book Review #45)

There are those times when you found and read a book you didn’t expect to enjoy. I was bit apprehensive to read this book at first knowing that this book is a short story collection. I am not a fan of short story collection type of books because I thought they won’t have that flow that I am looking for when I read a novel. I just pick this one up on a whim hoping that this will take me off my reading slump.


“There is always some beauty in life. Look up … and get on with it. Build you a rainbow. Do it yourself! If you can’t do that, build your mind near one. Learn how to fly. Then … soar a little.”
J. California Cooper, Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime: Stories

And yes, I was wrong about my judgement about short story collection type of books. I learned that instead of me looking into the specific stories of the book I must look into to the general theme the whole book wants to relay to its readers. Yes, the book will lack flow since each story is different but the overall impact of the stories as a whole didn’t fall short.

I guess it’s now becoming a trend for me that those books that I didn’t expect to enjoy are the ones that really hits me hard after reading them and those that I have high expectations fall short.

The book is a collection of 10 short stories written from the perspective of black women’s hard (but usually rewarding) life’s journeys, living in the American South in the fifties. With love as the central theme, Joan California Cooper is very effective in letting me experience the lives of black women in America on that era. The author told her stories from an on-lookers point-of-view which I enjoyed because it seems like I’m one the character’s new neighbors getting the story from a co-neighbor which also makes the story easier to understand and relate to. What the stories have in common is the presence of strong women who overcome obstacles and went through a lot of experiences in their lives and ended up far better than their previous situations. Each story is compelling.

The stories in the book are stories of real people, their struggles and their hope. It’s very easy to connect to them because how it was narrated was wonderfully made. You feel down when they fall and celebrate with them on the characters’ redemption and successes. It’s like each story can be extended to become a novel itself.

The author writes flawlessly. The use of simple words made me feel the writing more. The author also did not fail to develop her characters, settings and scenes during the 50’s era making the book have historical significance. It’s like along the way I’m with the character’s journey. Never was there a dull moment. The book is full of emotions and very engaging. Every story share how love causes some pain, some love sometimes and that life never ends until one dies.

I can’t praise this book enough. Despite, the book, catering to woman, I as a man didn’t feel awkward at all in reading it because the central them of the book caters to both men and women. That is love.

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