Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels and story collections, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans struggling to raise families, eke out a living, and fulfill their dreams. In the early 20th century, Irene and Val fall in love in Wideland. While carving out a home for themselves, they also allow neighbors Bertha and Joseph to build a house and live on their land. The next generation brings two girls for Irene and Val, and a daughter for Bertha and Joseph. As the families cope with the hardships that come with changing times and fortunes, and people are born and pass away, the characters learn the importance of living one's life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy.
Cooper brilliantly captures the cadences of the South and draws a picture of American life at once down-to-earth and heartwarming in this-as her wise narrator will tell you-"strange, sad, kind'a beautiful, life story." It is a story about love that leads to the ultimate realization that whoever you are, and whatever you do, life is short, but it is also wide.
©2009 Doubleday; (P)2009 Random House
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J.California Cooper has never disappointed me and "Life Is Short and Wide" is no exception. This story touched me and spoke to life's twist a turns, as well as, the unexpected changes and how these changes affect the lives of those you love beyond the length of your life. Highly recommened.
"Author that never disappoint"
I love reading or listening to book written by J. California Cooper. The author is one of my favorites. I am never disappointed when I read a book written by this author. The author really digs deep and develope a great novel.
"A Whole Lotta Soul!"
Yes. This was the second listen. I drove family members from Atlanta to Savannah (and back) and played it for them. They Loved it; they actually cheered out loud!
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Tot was too much!
Wouldn't change a thing
J. California Cooper is a treasure!
This book was a well told story of pain, sorrow, and love. Kept me wondering what was going to happen next.
Typical J California Cooper!
I laughed,cried,cringed and smiled.
Felt liked i was looking thru the windows of THIS family's life.
phenomenal book. definitely will recommend to family and friends. kept me wanting more, couldn't stop listening to it,day and night. thank you
"Great for a long car ride..."
I've been a lover of J. California Cooper's work for over 20 years. Her short stories are wonderfully entertaining. The ease with which they flow is a true testament to the author's storytelling abilities.
This novel seemed to be a long, drawn out version of her signature short-story style. For some characters, the author skipped years, even decades, without comprehensive explanation. Three-quarters of the way through, I was begging for the novel's end! I forced myself to keep listening out of respect for the author and literature in-general.
The narrator hit her stride about 30-60 minutes into the story. She was initially irritating, seemingly trying to force a "countrified" accent. But when she hit her stride, she nailed it; both her diction and tonal inflections became on point! The narration then flowed mellifluously!
Curiously, at the very end, the author introduced the ideology of Jehovah's Witnesses. It made the ending a bit disjointed.
I'd recommend listening to this novel if one is taking a long car ride.
"Young love is good but old love is great!"
Friendship, laughter and love
Sometimes you don't need to mind your own business.
Ojo's performance is excellent.
This book will make you laugh, it will make you sad, and it will make you glad.
it could be the stage in my life, but even as a young teen, books by J.California Cooper have touched me in some kind of way, from her titles to her characters. This book is not an exception to this. Yes it seemed to be all over the place, but as you listen to the stories and how they meet in the Y format you get an understanding of generational curses and desires of the heart. This reminds me of "Some Kind of Happiness"
"Listen and Enjoy"
A bit of sadness and happiness. It's all about life. Many times I hated to stop listening. Ms. Ojo narrated the story so well.
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