A profound and heartfelt meditation on the meaning of parenthood.

FAMILY SNAPSHOT AS A POEM IN TIME

A collection of poetry for children and adults explores family ties.

The first section of this volume consists of blackout poetry for adults. The speaker awaits spring in “I” and imagines a perfect morning in “III.” He wonders how he became a 38-year-old father of two in “V” and contemplates midlife in “X.” His “firecracker daughter” and her “volcano of energy” are the focus of “VII” while in “XIV,” the two talk about what their lives will look like when they’re both older. A moonlit stroll with the children inspires “IX.” He questions how one becomes “planted, rooted, sun-filled, lazily arrived” in marriage in “XVI.” Mosson composes a pair of message-in-a-bottle–style poems, one each for his daughter and son, in “XXVII” and “XXVIII.” The book’s second section contains traditional, shorter poems for children, including several pieces about the beauty of the moon as well as a celebration of the sunrise. The poet also touches on the struggle of kids to sleep at night and the calming power of maternal snuggles. Mosson has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize, and it is easy here to see why. His language is vibrant, as when he wishes for his “sleepy daughter to droop / into the living room,” describes how his children “tumble in squeals” on the porch, and recalls how his son “stomped to the playground steps with a wild surmise.” Many of the sentiments in these poems will be intimately familiar to parents: “I want / what’s wonderful for my children / silence behind eyelids when I sleep / pre-dawn with coffee and books to stretch out forever.” Mosson’s writing is steeped in tenderness, evident in lines like “I always thought / imagination meant walking in a moonlit field weeping.” The collection’s one flaw is the inclusion of notes—such as “Leave it raw? Is less, more?”—at the end of many poems. While revealing artistic vulnerability, the notes will make readers second-guess the author’s choices along with him and detract from the stunning conclusions of the poems.

A profound and heartfelt meditation on the meaning of parenthood.

Pub Date: March 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63-534849-1

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Finishing Line Press

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

more