Love is a novel published in 2003 by the African American novelist Toni Morrison. The protagonist of the novel is William (Bill) Cosey, a successful African American entrepreneur who ran Cosey’s Hotel and Resort, a luxurious establishment that offered performances by leading jazz musicians and catered to the African-American community. The action of the novel begins after his death and portrays, in a non-linear fashion, how his heritage transforms and is transformed by the changing role of African Americans in society.
An important character is L, a cook who worked for the resort and acts in a choral fashion to fill readers in on the events of the story.
In terms of plot, the most important characters are four women connected to Bill: his lover Celestial, his second wife, Heed, his daughter-in-law May, and his granddaughter Christine. These women have various conflicts with one another over Bill's legacy.
A love affair between two local teens, a boy named Romen and a girl named Junior, forms another subplot.
The local sheriff, Chief Buddy Silk, and his son Boss Silk act as antagonists in the novel.
Characters in the present time frame of the novel range in age from the fourteen-year-old Romen; to Junior Viviane, who is in her late teens; to the middle-aged Sandler and Vida Gibbons; to Christine and Heed, who are in their early seventies. There are obvious generational differences among the characters and their environments, but human nature does not change. Some characters have similar backgrounds despite being separated in age. These similarities aid readers’ interpretations, as individual stories mirror one another in part. Heed and Junior share similarly deprived and unloving childhoods, which they react to in the present. Heed and L think of Celestial, Bill’s mistress, when they look at Junior. Bill and Romen have similar attitudes toward what connotes masculinity, but Romen has a sensible grandfather in Sandler to give him advice. Christine, Heed, and Junior all feel unloved and unwanted despite their differences in class and education. Bill and Junior take lovers who are very young, with Junior thinking of Romen as...
(The entire section is 538 words.)