This review appears on the Amazon.com website and was posted on October 13, 2013. I have ‘skipped ahead’ but will catch up with older reviews from time to time. Now for the review:
Christine Rice: Poetry for the Heart.
About writing, personal growth: a new poet. Three stars.
As always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later. Here we have some twenty-two poems, mostly narrative, mostly straightforward, from a new and promising writer.
In the opening poem, The Self, “uncertain/ If I would find out who I was” covers an experience most of us must have had at least once. Again in Self-Doubt, we have this: “There are different styles of creativity,/ And they are all acceptable” which echoes one of the most important lessons this writer ever learned, and from a very good teacher.
If you’re scrolling for the tiny carps, here they are. Eight of the poems are about writing, potentially of less interest to the general reader. I must note that of these, Dire Need for a Career Change is imho the best, as it captures the ennui of being in the wrong job. If you’re looking for plentiful metaphors, you will have to settle for straightforward description for the most part. In this volume Rice writes in a simple style. Let’s get back to the good stuff.
The most literary poem, imho, is I Miss It, where you will find this: “Giant pine trees, offering their protection;/ Sapphire lakes, sparkling and wanting your company” and this: “Earthy roads, begging to be traveled;/ Stars in the clear night sky; offering their peace.” Here Rice shows control and great promise; you will be drawn into her missed countryside.
There is a sense of resolution in My Inner Child, and nostalgia for both earlier innocence and potential loss of potential. If you’re looking for social commentary, you’ll find it in Just Trying to be Beautiful. Animal lovers will sympathize with Tangerine (a cat).
My personal favourites include the last two poems. In A Bad Day at Work, you will recognize yourself: “My coworker thinks I’m/ Her assistant.” Finally, in Truth or Dare, Rice’s simple style takes you back into childhood: “The least damaging choice:/ “Truth,” I say.”
Back to the star count. My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. Rice is not (yet) Robert Frost or Emily Dickenson. Nevertheless you will gain enjoyment from this volume. Recommended.
Jim Bennett, Kindle Book Review Team member.
(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)