Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns.

Author:Simon, Denise
Position:Book review

Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns by J. California Cooper Doubleday, April 2006 $24.95, ISBN 0-385-51133-7

In her latest collection of stories, Cooper introduces us to characters who are as warm and familiar as the people with whom we live and work. Indeed, the primary voice in Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns is that of a gossipy but well-meaning neighbor who cares deeply for the women and men in her stories.

Ten years ago, when I first read one of Cooper's novels, I was struck by the sense of intimacy the California-based playwright and author established between the reader, the narrator and the assorted characters who brought her stories to life.

In Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns, readers will find more of the dear and simple prose that made Family, The Matter Is Life and Cooper's other books joys to read. Here, Cooper's narrator pierces the inner lives of people who are searching for love, acceptance and, often, a way to find some beauty in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Some of the stories are morality tales: In "As Time Goes By," a young woman named Futila Ways devotes herself to a loveless union; and stories such as "Oysters and Pearls"...

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