May 8, 2024

Some Soul to Keep

"Watched to see how everybody did their loving. I have been doing it now all my life, and I can tell is a lesson and a[n] education to watch the way different people love, or don't love, other people. In families, between men and women, parents and children, everybody. I studied them all." ~ 74%

Some Soul to Keep is a collection of long short stories exploring the presence and absence of love. With her narration and vivid description of Black characters, J. California Cooper brings moving stories of Black family life.

First published in 1987, Some Soul to Keep features five (5) short stories that are long in length and meaning. In true JCC style, there are troubled characters telling their story in such an intimate way that they garner sympathy and readers' attention. Although I found only two of the five stories extremely interesting, there is one character that will stick in my head long after I've closed this advance copy and a central theme of Black love.

If you are new to J. California Cooper's work, do not read Some Soul to Keep first. While it is written in her signature style, it is not a good enough representation of her fine talent. She earned Black Playwright of the Year in 1978 and the American Book Award so I suggest reading some of her other works first. Return to Some Soul to Keep when you have a better sense of her moral message.

Happy Early Re-Pub Day to the late great J. California Cooper! Some Soul to Keep will be available Tuesday, June 11.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie

Title: Some Soul to Keep
Author: J. California Cooper
Published: June 2024
Pages: 190
Edition: Galley
Genre: Black Lit
Rating: 🖤 🖤

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