Sunday, March 24, 2013


In her novel “Love,” Toni Morrison explores the different facets of love, its proximity to hate, and its destructive effects on the psyche when it is missing from one’s life, especially the life of a child.  She examines the different varieties of love: parental, self, perverted, platonic, sadomasochistic, and young, romantic love. Written with exceptional artistry both in style and content, "Love" is a book one needs to read at least twice in order to fully understand its meaning.  

The novel is set in the town of Silk, located somewhere on the Southern East Coast.  It was once famous for Cosey’s Hotel and Resort, “the best and best- known vacation spot for colored folk” on the Southern East Coast.  The resort was founded during the depression by the larger than life Bill Cosey, and it thrived because it offered prosperous black clients a place to vacation in style without fear of discrimination. After integration, the resort declined, Bill Cosey died, and eventually the resort was closed and boarded up.  What remained of the Coseys, was the large house on Monarch Street that Bill Cosey had built for his family:  His daughter in law May, who died deranged, his granddaughter Christine who was sent away and stayed away until she returned penniless, and his second wife Heed, whom he married when she was eleven years old.  Looking over everyone is the spirit of L, the former cook of the Cosey’s, who provides commentary on the story, thereby providing a bridge between the Cosey’s of the past and the Cosey’s of the present day.  L is also the moral center and the philosopher of the novel.  L is probably Toni Morrison herself.  The name of the character is plain L (perhaps an allusion to the word love or to the word life).  The action takes place in the 1990’s, but the characters reminisce of the time each spent in the presence of Bill Cosey and we see how he influenced their lives, and how he continues to be an influence even some 20 years after his death.  We see how close the distance between love and hate can be.  Christine and Heed, who had been loving childhood friends have a wedge driven between them by the adults around them when Bill Cosey decides to take Heed as his wife.  Their relationship turns to one of hate, and it is not until a newcomer, a girl named Junior Viviane enters their lives, that events occur which melt their hate instantly, and they realize how strong the love each has for the other still is.  This knowledge comes late, their love and their lives were wasted because they were not nurtured with love when they were children.  In contrast, Romen, a teenage character in the novel, has in his life the guidance and love of an intact family.  The guidance he receives molds his character in such a way that he can act heroically when needed. 

Because Vida, who is Romen’s grandmother likes pineapple, I decided to make a pineapple smoothie.  In this way I am celebrating Novel Food, the literary/culinary event hosted by Simona from Briciole.  Read something, cook something inspired by the work, and then write a post about it. That’s Novel Food!



2 cups fresh pineapple cut into chunks
2 oranges, peeled, broken up into segments, any seeds removed
1 banana, peeled, cut into chunks
½ cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons shredded coconut

Add all the ingredients except the shredded coconut into a blender.  Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle the top with shredded coconut.
IT'S REFRESHING!!!  And it's smooth as silk, which reminds me of Silk, the fictional town in which "Love" is set. 


  1. I love smoothies...even in the winter months. They just seem to instantly make me feel better, healthier, happier when I have them. I have to definitely try out this combination, as I've never added shredded coconut on top (although I have used coconut milk once or twice, and yes, it was absolutely delicious).

    Another thing I've never done is that I've never had the pleasure of reading one of Toni Morrison's books. I've made several mental notes to pick up one of her books at the library, but then I find myself distracted by other books that entice me while there, and I put it on the back burner, once again.

    As I'm due to return a book to the library tomorrow anyway, I'm going to make it my mission to find 'Love' there. If that's not on the shelves, I'm sure there are plenty of other of her works that are there for me to discover.

    Thanks for this, Ana. All I need to get is the pineapple and the shredded coconut, and I'll have me one gorgeous tasting 'silk'-y smoothie. Yum!

  2. June, for Toni Morrison you absolutely have to start with "The Bluest Eye" I think it's a masterpiece, and then go on to "Beloved." I don't think I did justice to her in my review here, but I have been pretty sick... amazed I got anything together. I made the smoothie, really easy to make, but the pictures were taken by my friend and neighbor Dawn, who has a fancy shmancy camera. As soon as I feel better I would like to make this smoothie again and take my own pictures.

  3. Dear Ana, I hope you feel better now. I think you wrote a very nice presentation of the novel. I have not yet read it, but I have read other books by Morrison, including the two you mention in your comments. And your post made me want to read it. I am very intrigued by what you say, in particular the proximity of love and hatred. Great choice of recipe: the photos make your smoothie look magical. Thank you so much for your contribution to Novel Food!

  4. Believe it or not (I'm still in disbelief, myself) our local library doesn't have ANY books by Toni Morrison! Not a one! I'll have a look in the second hand bookshops, and see if I have better luck there. - June

  5. I have yet to read a Toni Morrison book (hard to admit), but your post is shoving me closer!

    I pinned your smoothie recipe--it sounds tasty.

  6. I have not read this book and will put it on my list. I like your smoothie and will try it very soon. Happy reading! Happy Cooking! Happy Smoothie-making! ;-)