About The Book
Cooper Cooper, a lonely hairdresser’s assistant who finds solace in her cigarettes, bottles of wine and overweight cat, is no more than the sum of her malignant parts; Cooper seeks the help of her dead husband’s therapist, Dr. Stanley Whitmore, to gain self perspective only to fall in love with Stanley and even more out of sync with herself.
Cooper Hartman Cooper, twenty-five-year-old widow, spends her days sweeping grime and hair off the floors at Lena’s Locks with Love, saving up enough money to squeak through the week. Her world encompasses few pleasures and sits submerged in a well of disappointments: her overweight cat who loves at his own leisure, her baby boomer boss struggling into skimpy tube tops, her mother’s painted on eye brows and acidic tongue. All of these things are frustrating yet familiar for Cooper, curling thickly around her like a worn comforter until the day she makes a visit to her dead husband’s therapist.
Cooper is able to confide in Dr. Stanley Whitmore about the deaths of her two best friends from high school, Loma and Rachel, incidents for which Cooper blames herself. She also talks about Claire Oaks, the woman with whom she cheated on her late husband, Harry. Cooper feels like she’s finally found a friend, an outlet, a way to make amends with the pain she caused her friends and husband as a teenager and a married woman.
But when Cooper’s relationship with Dr. Whitmore turns sour she’s forced to assemble the pieces to life’s overwhelming puzzle on her own. She concentrates her efforts on repairing the relationship she has with her mother, offering to move in with the one woman who has always had a hand in Cooper’s nightmarish past. Cooperpresumes life with her mother will be difficult but she is in for an even bigger surprise when she meets her mother’s new husband, a “daddy” stand in who has a few secrets of his own.
Cooper learns that instead of dwelling on her past, letting it tie its rope around her neck, she can use it to paint her future, sketching the lines, smudging the shadows that will lead her on a path worth following, all in time for her twenty-sixth birthday.