Review of Smells Like Heaven
Advance 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
Selected Reviews of Tell Everything
Claire Cameron in the The Globe and Mail: “Cooper slowly peels back layers in search of the real lives and motivations behind the media maelstrom of a sensational trial. In a world that prefers clear answers, this is a bold attempt to show how roles can be blurred. [Cooper] uses the complicated relationship between Ramona and Pauline to show how the predator might also be a victim, or how the victim might play a part in her capture. By exploring these grey areas while holding a firm moral line on what constitutes abuse, Cooper has achieved an impressive and delicate balance.
…this book is written with feeling. By plunging deep into a difficult subject, Cooper takes a bold approach that allows her to craft a story that is both sensitive and insightful.
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Zoe Whittall in Now Magazine (Now Rating: NNNN): “Tell Everything is a tremendous accomplishment from a writer with a gift for complex character development, agonizing suspense and the occasional lyrical gem of a sentence.”
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“… a work of fiction that while unsettling, shows the powers of an emerging writer with uncanny skills in crafting dialogue, plot and prose.”
–Andrew Armitage, Owen Sound Sun Times
“…[a] satisfying tale of crime and passion.”
–Nigel Beale, Guardian Unlimited
“The questioning and torment facing Pauline is sensitively and suspensefully examined. Tell Everything is not just a novel about a young woman facing her past but how unquenchable, obsessive acts from the past force themselves into the reality of the here and now. Cooper…has written a commanding and tender work that is both challenging and satisfying.” Don Graves, The Hamilton Spectator
Praise for Love Object
Crack Panel Book Selection, Hot Type, CBC Newsworld
“[Cooper’s] skill is evident in her first novel, beginning with its title, Love Object, the opening key to the story’s final cathartic punch.”–The Globe and Mail
“Love Object is a powerful debut for Sally Cooper. She clearly is a fearless writer, not afraid to make us squirm as she lays out stark details that expose and enrich her characters. Her possession of Mercy and Nicky and Sylvia is total, and she forces us to accept them completely as the flawed people they are.”
“…[Cooper’s] passionate commitment to her characters drives the novel and the reader relentlessly forward. We have to know how it turns out. Like Cooper’s characters, Love Object is compelling in spite of its flaws, and it marks Cooper as a young writer to watch.” — The Ottawa Citizen
“Cooper possesses an extraordinary eye for detail, describing objects and settings with precise and often beautiful language. In a series of deft strokes, she reveals her characters’ internal lives with sensitivity and imagination, inducing empathy in the reader. Under Cooper’s skillful guidance, Mercy’s longing for her mother, and ultimate rejection of her, seem believable and necessary.”— Quill & Quire
“Cooper realizes that growing up in the country is just too absurd to take absolutely seriously and this results in some deliciously surreal moments and characters.”–Amazon.ca