Having heard such rave reviews of Lovelace’s first book of poems, The Princess Saves Herself in this One, I knew that I was in store for a great experience with her second collection, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One. I wasn’t disappointed. Though it was a short read, it was a roller-coaster of emotions, making me smile, tear up, and swell with pride as a woman. Here’s a quick review of what I liked and disliked.
What I Liked:
- The issues discussed: With movements like #metoo and #timesup filling our screens and feeds, it’s easy to think that they’re just hashtags for people to throw around. But this poignant collection reminds its reader that movements such as these are the start of a revolution in global mentalities and a shift in society. It tells women that it’s not normal for us to feel unsafe when we walk down a dark street, that it’s not okay for us to take abuse from loved ones or strangers, that it’s not right for us to judge ourselves based on what society tells us is right.
- The message: No matter where we live, women have had to live with the consequences of a patriarchal society. That is to say that we are expected to go along with the status quo, to accept the way things are, but this book reminds us that we don’t have to do that. We each have a voice, and no matter who or what tries to silence it, there will always be another voice to accompany our own.
- The experience: Reading this brought up some difficult memories and thoughts, but in a way that made me feel less alone in the world. It made me feel angry and sad and hopeful and rebellious. It made me want to hunt down every person who had ever made me feel less than human and throw their judgment or actions in their faces. It made me feel like the strength and resilience of every wronged woman that came before me was flowing through my veins, and that was an awesome experience.
What I Disliked:
- The structure: The only thing I didn’t love was the structure of the poems themselves, as it made it hard to focus sometimes. But that’s also the beauty of contemporary poetry, that it doesn’t have to follow the rules. It was definitely interesting and fitting in some poems, but some just felt weird on the page.
- The length: I don’t even think this is an issue per se, but I wish that the poems were longer. Some were little more than a sentence spread across a page and I wanted more.
I really loved this collection and I’ll be reading the first one to accompany the experience. I give this book 4 stars and encourage all my fellow witches (and wizards!) to read this book, as it’s not just for women, but for humans as a whole. There is nothing as powerful as the knowledge that across the globe, there are others who stand beside you. Whether you’re a fan of poetry or not, this is a short and wonderful book to read and experience, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. As always, happy reading!