Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
First of all, many thanks to the author, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, for a copy of this wonderful collection to read in exchange for review. I always relish the chance to read some poetry, I don’t get the chance as often as I’d like to. I wholeheartedly am grateful for receiving this to read. It was inspiring, truly. I have just ordered myself a hard copy too, this is one which deserves a place on my shelf of re-reads.
I found myself captivated with this book from the start. It’s a beautifully dark and inspired look inside our pain, our sadness and our fear. The book itself is broken down into three sections.
Act One: Breathe Through Fear
Dark and disturbing monsters, what lurks in the shadows and what is beyond the veil? Act One is sublime in the telling of these tales of fear and human horrors. Earl Grey Tea is one that will linger in my subconscious with its tragedy.
Act Two: Breathe Through Pain
Love, revenge, pain and jealousy – Act Two has it all. These are real, poems not about lurking monsters or the supernatural, but about the realities of our being.
The third section in the book contains a collection of exquisitely written short stories centring on topics including abuse and revenge.
The final story in the collection, giving inspiration to the bright cover art, is ‘Dandelion Yellow’, that is one that will stick with me. It is a heartbreaking tale of child abuse and the way a child’s mind works to protect itself. It started out so innocent, a child colouring with crayons, and her favourite colour is the Dandelion Yellow. What follows delves far from that childlike naivety and springs the true tragic horror at the end. It is captivating in its sadness.
Breathe. Breathe is a tragic and thought provoking look within the human soul and a horrific exploration of our worst elements. It is a beautifully put together piece combining the dark nature of the poetry with some rather traumatic short stories. The bright and sunny cover is an emotional trigger of the final tale. I don’t think I will ever be able to view a dandelion in the same light again.