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4.6 out of 5 stars
Cooley & Rose
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I live in the area where this book was written, have lived where Rose went, and will meet the author tonight. I enjoyed the story, the characters. We read this book for Book Club. I considered this "real," and the characters kept one interested and entertained.
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on November 15, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mary Bonina's review Nov 15, 13 · edit
5 of 5 stars
Read in November, 2013

A novel gives a whole world, and the world of COOLEY AND ROSE is S. Norfolk, Virginia 1948 -- until Rose takes off for Palm Springs California, wanting a different life (enamored of movie stars), but especially to escape her marriage to Cooley and his ways which seem to her perverted. Prudish, stubborn, deeply religious, and an obsessive house cleaner who, for years, had bought into her Home Ec teacher's line about how rewarding mopping floors, dusting baseboards, and hanging wet wash could be, sets off on her journey and learns, not just about the wider world,but also what love and marriage really mean.On her way, she's robbed, forced to face the prejudice and prudishness engendered by her parochial life. We see her transformed by new relationships and the challenge of fending for herself, discovering and testing her abilities and her resolve to make a life beyond S. Norfolk and her husband of many years. Finally emerging from the "cocoon of sadness" she'd been wrapped in ever since losing a baby, miscarrying, she discovers new life both within and without, learning she is pregnant again with Cooley's child.
This novel is chock full of fine details that establish an historical past, a setting that intrigues not just because of how well it is rendered, but also for its contrast with the time in which we now live, a time when a woman's independent spirit is encouraged rather than a source of worry, gossip, and embarrassment among family, friends, and in her community. But Cooley grows, too, learning to give Rose room for her growth and finally, how to take care of himself without depending on Rose to keep house. Perrel gives us humor, pathos, a well-constructed narrative, and a cast of unique characters-- plenty to keep a reader entertained and interested in the real journey of the novel: how Cooley and Rose renew their marriage and more importantly, their love for each other.
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on July 29, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
In A Defense of Poetry (written in 1821), Shelley maintained that "to be greatly good, [a man] must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others." This, in a nutshell, is the insight the main characters of Terry Perrel's novel Cooley and Rose eventually come to. The break up of their marriage, which happens at the very beginning of the novel, is essentially due to their incapacity to imagine the other's perspective. It takes Rose several months and a trip across the country to begin to question her rigidly-held views and to begin developing a capacity for the kind of self-doubt that only the strong are comfortable with, but which is essential to the full development of a moral subjectivity. Once she becomes self-reliant, she is ready to question her prejudices. As for Cooley, he has to lose Rose to be reminded of how dear she is to him. Generosity is his greatest quality and it is this generosity that eventually allows him to try to see things from Rose's perspective and to want what is best for her. Set in 1948 in South Norfolk, on the road West, and in Palm Springs, Cooley and Rose is a page-turner, with a well-paced narrative told from each of the main characters' perspective. A real pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Great book! Flawed characters find their better selves in the end after many stops and starts. Riveting story line.
Hope there are many more books from this writer!
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on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Cooley and Rose is a breath of fresh air! During the course of this novel, I found myself laughing often, sighing in frustration at times, and, by the final chapter, tearing up. Ms. Perrel does a remarkable job developing relatable characters struggling with failed communication. Her blend of humor with tragedy creates a story profound in its simplicity, while the issues the character's face remain complicated and real. The novel's conclusion left me feeling hopeful for all of us as we try to understand ourselves and those we love. Perhaps most profound, Cooley and Rose gave me a sense of compassion for our human shortcomings and our personal failings sprung from the best intentions. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough! Happy reading!
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on May 28, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I loved this book the way I love books by Rosamunde Pilchner and the late Maeve Binchy - it causes me to look more closely at the details of my own life and appreciate little things that those around me do to show their love. The story is rich and the setting authentic, speaking as a Southern Girl myself. Just like our own lives and loves, sometimes we like the characters and sometimes we don't, but by the end we love them in spite of them being all too human. Looking forward to Ms. Perril's next book!!
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on August 26, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I enjoyed the book. I grew up in South Norfolk VA, where the story takes place, though during a later time. I actually lived on one of the streets as one of the characters. I found a couple of discrepancies in that it is correct now, but not in 1948. Over all I thoroughly enjoyed the story of the journey of Cooley and Rose. I think they were very typical of that period.
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on March 1, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is super well written, well thought out, thoughtful. and fun. Every sentence is an adventure. The story of an adventure many wish they would dare to take.
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on November 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Synopsis: It is 1948 and Rose Godwin thinks someone is trying to kill her. That someone is her husband!! Rose has had enough and she leaves him. Rose is on her way to California. Problem is that Rose is mistaken, but her husband isn't quite a misunderstood prince. Can he win Rose back

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: I thought this was a very good debut. The storyline was interesting and unusual with characters that were pretty complex. On that note, I must admit that there were areas where the writing/storyline appeared to be repetitive and needed to be tightened up.

Source: Author for review

Would I recommend? : Yes

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone
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on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'm from the area the story takes place and I really enjoyed reading this book and hearing of local places.
I was also delighted Cooley knows where to get a good hot dog.
I didn't want it to end maybe Terry Perrel will give us a follow up to Cooley and Rose.
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