Poetry/ Andrews McMeel Publishing
About the book:
The Rose That Blooms in the Night is a collection of poems from spoken word poet, yoga instructor, podcaster, and Instagram influencer Allie Michelle. The collection is meant to be a mirror reflecting the love inside of those who read it. It tells the tale of transformational cycles we experience throughout our lives. Falling in and out of love. Feeling lost and rediscovering our purpose. Learning to create a home within our own skin instead of seeking it in other people and places.
My take on it:
Look, I wasn’t ready for this…maybe I was, but here’s the thing; Allie Michelle succeeded in making me feel.
From the beginning, she encourages you to:
Find the strength it takes to be soft
Her words, some lyrical, others full of reflection and downright unapologetic ignited feelings in me that I worked so hard to calm or cast aside. With pieces like ‘Home’ she reminds you that your mind could either be heaven or hell, so you’d better guard it. When you come across a piece like “Grief” in just five sentences she brings you to your knees in pain.
Some pieces are light, witty and others pack a punch.
What I know for sure is that in reading this collection, you may shed a tear or two, laugh a little or a lot but mostly you’ll reminisce on memories…experiences so close to your heart you’ll not help but be moved.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
Some phrases that I couldn’t shake off are:
“We break our own hearts long before we place them in the shaking hands of another.”
“Your mind is the house you live in.”
“Grief will come and steal your breath…”
How to get your hands on a copy of her book:
Visit her website: https://www.alliemichellel.com/
I can never have enough of “chasing the American dream story,” and with this book I had a front row seat into the lives of Irish Immigrants three generations down the line.
Hardcover, 620 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
About the Book
We Are Not Ourselves is a multigenerational portrait of the Irish American Leary family.
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.
Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.
Read more reviews on: Goodreads
In this book the author tells the story as it is and in his own way, you delve into the lives of the character each with their own dreams and ambitions trying to lead a better life than those who came before them and struggling under the burden of this.
Broken Wings tells the harrowing story of Butterfly, who is kidnapped and taken to a mountain village in which all the young women have left for the city. There, she is imprisoned and, later, raped in the cave home of the wifeless farmer who has bought her. These traumatic events and Butterfly’s fading hopes of escape are described in her own voice, revealing a spirited young woman struggling to adjust to her new life.
My take on it:
For a book that delves into how violent humans can be, in this case-kidnapping young girls and selling them off in rural areas where they are chained and forced to serve as wives, I’ll say that I do wish many more people would read it, with more heart and patience.
I believe we are now used to expression being all up in your face, telling it as it is, but Jia Pingwa’s writing style leaves it up to the reader, and this can have two reactions; first you are either frustrated at (the awkward names of characters) and ascertaining the emotions of the characters and so you give up and click on the 2-star rating or simply say you “DNF,” or second; you find yourself reading through to the end and wondering just how much circumstances broke Butterfly and why of all the names she had to get that, when it seemed like they always clipped her wings, degraded her—took her against her will and forced themselves on her?
So, it makes for an interesting approach to writing about human kidnapping and the trauma on families and how over the years China has grappled with this. It is also heartbreaking to know that this story was inspired by a true account and you only get a glimpse of this in the afterword.
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.
Get a copy on: Amazon