The newest addition to my Lovelace collection is actually a remastered version of some of her older work- which I say it a positive thing, proving the girl had such chops before her first publication that her publishers said, what else you got? and she pulled these from the vault. The only problem with that, is she seemed to have outgrown the content that became her third collection… which came across to her readership.
Although I admire Lovelace’s work and adored the first two publications under her name (see my reviews for Princess here and Witch here), I found it harder to emotionally relate to this collection- partly because it wasn’t what I was expecting (some sort of fairy-tale spin similar to her past work), and partly because it is such an intimate sample of work. As I said, the topic discussed within seemed to be something that Lovelace touched on in Princess, so as a reader, it felt like going back over Lovelace’s relationship with a microscope, when we only needed the window she provided in Princess.
Now, I’ll pretend I just picked up this copy without prior knowledge of Lovelace’s poetry, and say that this collection is still beautifully written, and certainly emotional, descriptive, and powerful. It also contains a trigger warning for abuse, self-harm, and other potentially traumatic triggers, alluring to the content within. The collection is broken into three sections: monster-boy, monster-girl, and sun-heart. In monster-boy, Lovelace reveals the emotional trauma of an abusive past relationship- which as she prefaces, is her cathartics for finally letting the relationship go (I respect that). Next comes monster-girl, the section in which she shows how harmful the relationship was, and how it effected her- but also how she healed. Then there’s sun-heart, in which she learns how to love and trust again with not only another man, but with herself.
Overall, it’s still a very good collection, but as someone who hasn’t been through these emotions (#chronicallysingle), it’s was hard for me to relate to the writing. I did mark a few that I could connect with, but far less than I have in the past. It want to also add, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, I certainly think that this collection could speak to some far more than it did to me, and therefore I still would recommend the read.