“A eulogy and a verse novella. Grief, guilt, redemption. How do you go on in a world without your other half?
Think Ted Hughes Birthday Letters meets Dorothy Porter verse and you’d have My Heart’s Choir Sings. This is the story of Stewart Hinchcliffe, a writer and an artist who loses his lover and fellow creative in tragic circumstances. As he cleans out their old apartment, each new object brings back bittersweet memories. Throughout the 25 poem sequence, grief, guilt and anger color his memories. Who is to blame for what happened? Where did everything go wrong? And how on earth does Stuart move on from his past?” (description from Goodreads)
For me, reading and “getting” poetry doesn’t always come easy. What I rely on most for my enjoyment, the first read through, is the feel I get from it; the emotions do the poems bring with them. Then I’ll go and reread the book is necessary to look deeper into what it has within.
My Heart’s Choir Sings is a book that I’ve read through twice already, and have gotten more out of each with each of read. I know I’ll be revisiting this one again and with the third read, will most likely get an even deeper understanding and enjoyment from the poems.
This collection is said to be a novella in verse. When comparing it to the verse novels I’ve read in recent months, this “story” goes about the form a little different from them. Instead of a straight forward continuous single storyline, this novella has the speaker recollecting various events, memories, qualities of the woman he loves, who is now dead. These poems are strung together by some common themes, while being great pieces all on their own. There’s not a direct linear narrative, but I feel that is a strength to this collection. There’s so much being said on these pages, even with, at times, so little words. The reader can feel the speaker’s every emotion.
As I stated before, I’ll be reading through this book a third time, and probably many times after, plucking out favorite lines, new meanings, and it’ll probably make its way onto my shelf of favorites collections. If this is Flynn’s début book, I can’t wait to see what else she has waiting for her readers.
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About the Author:
Maureen writes young adult speculative fiction novels and short stories. She is inspired by authors such as Isobelle Carmody, Philip Pullman and Juliet Marillier and writes stories to make sense of her world. She loves to attend local Writers Festivals and, having recently discovered the Australian speculative fiction scene, also loves supporting her fellow writers at local events. She is an active member of the South Coast Writers Centre (SCWC) and regularly volunteers for the centre.
Maureen has wanted to write from the second she could put pen to paper but, other than winning a district wide short story competition in Year 6, first achieved small writing successes at university. Her poems, ‘Out For Lunch’ and ‘Rapunzel’s Curls’ were published in The UOW Literary Society Zine in 2012. Her fairy tale short story, ‘Tea Time with Mad Hattie’ was published by Holmesglen Small Press in the same year. 2012 was a busy year, with Maureen accepted into The Sydney Writer’s Festival Fantasy Masterclass with Kate Forsyth in May. Recently, she has started attending a writers group run by Australian speculative fiction stalwart, Angie Rega, and, if all goes according to plan, will be working with Isobelle Carmody in 2014.
Maureen reviews speculative fiction novels at her wordpress blog, InkAshlings. Never one for saying no to a challenge, she also reviews speculative fiction films and TV shows and has interviewed authors Richard Harland and Kate Forsyth for her blog.
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