Smells Like Heaven

Smells Like Heaven receives a review in the Winnipeg Free Press: The structure of the connected stories works like the turning of a kaleidoscope

Smells Like Heaven makes Hamilton Magazine‘s list of Hot Hamilton Reads.

GetLit: Listen to Sally Cooper’s interview with Jamie Tennant below.

Set in the fictional town of Fletcher, the connected stories in Smells Like Heaven span thirty years. Fletcher is a town the characters strive to escape, but keep returning to, as they stumble through life searching for ways to connect and transcend their claustrophobic pasts. Following two sisters—Devon and Christine—as well as their friends and lovers, Smells Like Heaven exposes the core of what it means to be transformed by love.

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Praise for Smells Like Heaven 

“Sally Cooper’s stories hold a strange beauty and offer canny wisdom about life’s injustices and mercies as they twist and untwist the kinks of linked lives. “

Catherine Bush, author of Accusation

 

“In gorgeously evocative prose, Cooper depicts and makes heartbreakingly palpable the evolution of imperfect lives. Her characters, full of sharp desires they can’t outrun, seeking connection and solace at almost any cost, remind us of what it is to be human, frail, even blind. Cooper is a writer of extraordinary gifts.” 

Kelli Deeth, author of The Other Side of Youth

 

“The best lies, she believes, are close to truth.” This line from Sally Cooper’s story collection, Smells Like Heaven, captures the feeling of quest in Cooper’s characters as they set out and sometimes return to home in a small town, exploring love, friendship, and the creation of new families. This collection is deeply felt by a writer who dares tell fiction’s truth.  

Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life

 

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Excerpt: Tell Everything on CBC Canada Writes

Tell Everything by Sally Cooper

My mother told me a story once about a foolish princess. We were hiking up the path to Banana Rock. Sunlight slanted through the branches. She made up the story, and I held her hand and matched my steps to hers. The princess was vain and not very pretty. When an old baron asked to marry her, her mother celebrated. The baron called the princess beautiful. She believed him and fell in love. The night before the wedding, the baron invited her to his house. Her mother insisted she wear a veil until she’d sealed the union. But the princess wanted her fiancé to admire her. When the princess walked into a hall of mirrors inside the castle, she threw off the veil and found herself in a dungeon packed with demon brides. A sorcerer turned her into a toothless old woman with a smelly, aching body. Because the princess was vain, the sorcerer made her sit in the hall of mirrors, where her ugly image stretched out in every direction. She warned each of the baron’s new brides-to-be not to look at herself, but none would listen. Even her mother said she’d be better off dead. “It’s not my fault,” cried my mother in the foolish princess’s voice. Her own voice rang with a smug glee that meant she thought it really was.

 

Read the full excerpt on CBC Canada Writes here.

Love Object

 

What happens when the person who loves you most can’t take care of herself? Sally Cooper asks that question in her first novel, Love Object, the story of a family’s implosion in the aftermath of the mental collapse of the mother at its centre. When Mercy Brewer is 12 and her brother, Nicky, 11, their mother is hospitalized and their bawdy grandmother steps in to take care of them and their father. Love Object is the story of how two teenagers make sense of the loss of their mother while coming to terms with their own emergent sexuality and the secret violence at their family’s core.

Buy it here on Amazon.

Love Object by Sally Cooper

Tell Everything

Tell Everything by Sally Cooper

Discover what happens to a woman when she must testify against her former friend at a sensational murder trial.

The day Pauline sees Ramona’s mug shot in the paper, she knows she’s going to be called upon to relive a complicated period of her life. Charged with murdering her husband, James, Ramona is also suspected of sexual assault. And when the police discover a stash of scripts with Pauline’s name on them, Pauline becomes a key witness in the trial.

Tell Everything follows Pauline as she prepares for her testimony and in the process reawakens memories that she has buried since she was a teenager. But the most difficult challenge she faces is keeping her relationship with Alex intact as he learns for the first time what secrets lurk in her past. Sally Cooper’s second novel, Tell Everything, is a gripping, vividly imagined work from a gifted author who shines a light on the darkest regions of the human soul.

 

Buy it here on Amazon.