Told in four parts, as the years tick by, Howard takes the reader on a journey through prose and free verse that gives an in-depth insight on life with dementia. families. In "Going Home,” Howard makes great use of nuanced repetition, imagery, and personification on the subject of returning to her mother's home. As she treads the delicate waters of the role reversal of child and parent, each poem builds upon the next, taking the reader on a moving journey of mother and daughter navigating a difficult diagnosis and illness. In "Remembering,” Howard employs quotes from her mother while thinking back on individual stages of her understanding of her mother's dementia.
Focusing on one daughter's experience, Howard achieves a more universal resonance, as even readers not steeped in contemporary poetry will find much to relate to Howard’s inviting considerations of grief, growing older, and incidents like the moment when her mother believes she sees a long-dead loved one. A brief, tightly focused collection that can be read in one sitting or savored and explored over time, Winter Solstice will elicit deep thought and feeling from its readers.
Takeaway: This moving, haunting memoir in poetry is universal in it's themes of grief, loss, and the passage of time.
Great for fans of: Caitlin Kelly’s The Words I Wish I Said, Sonia Sanchez’s Morning Haiku.
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