Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: relationships, heartbreak, depression, mental illness, eating disorders, self acceptance, death.
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
I needed a little poetry in my life, so I took to NetGalley to see what would call to me, and found Between You and These Bones by F.D. Soul. When the title of a collection grabs you with it’s imagery, it has to be good, so I quickly requested and was approved for the collection.
Soul’s poetry is broken into four parts: I, XI, XII, XIII. Usually when I’ve reviewed poetry collections in the past, I break down what is in each part, but since Soul’s themes transcend throughout each part, I’m just going to share the overall themes and impressions as I came to them, and not worry too much about the sections.
Starting off the collection, there are a few poems that give the reader background on the poet’s childhood- discussing what she’s learned from her parents, grandparents, and farming life. She also starts delving into the definition of home, of it’s many meanings. Next, there are some transitional poems that relate to growing up, coming of age, learning about love, feeling safe and secure. Then, the reader starts to recognize a pattern of small undercurrent poems relating to something darker. It took me a little time to notice the repetition of the phrase “of this war” as a representation of depression, or some sort of mental illness or inner struggle. This struggle flows into the poet’s writing process, how her poetry is created. She writes about being a poet, the complexity of defining poetry, the emotions that become poetry. Often, love is the catalyst in these poems, the expression of a moment or a wish for the future, or as Soul states, how a person can not only be poetry, but home. I really felt I understood that relationship, as the saying goes, “home is where the heart is” and it’s with that special someone. Soul also explores faith and what God means to her- often, it is love. The leads to contemplation on marriage, analyzing the human condition, of what it means to be and feel alive.
In addition to the beautiful poetry, Soul also includes illustrations that give a visual representation of her poems. I always enjoy when a poetry collection includes illustrations, as they complement the artistry of the printed words. As a visual learner, I also think it helps with comprehension of what imagery the poet is trying to portray to the reader.
I honestly adored this collection and am eager to get ahold of a published physical copy to add to my poetry collection. I thought the structure of the collection was enjoyable, and the content so relatable and breathtaking. I flagged many favorites, and have decided to keep those for myself, in the hopes that you’ll pick up your own copy and flag your own favorites, too.
Expected Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Andrew McMeel Publishing
TL/DR: Between You and These Bones by F. D. Soul is a collection of poetry about relationships, self acceptance, and struggles with depression.
Read it? Yes- it’s short and beautiful, and absolutely worth your time.
Recommend it? Yes, to all who enjoy poetry, though with caution to those who’d be affected by the triggers.
Buy it? If you’re into poetry, I would definitely add this to your collection.