If you’re looking for an engrossing, gothic English tale with a hint of the fantastical, Eve Chase’s Black Rabbit Hall should hit the spot. Set in he story is split between two narrators – the first a young teenage girl, Amber, in the 1960s and the other, Lorna, a young woman in present time. Amber’s story, set the family’s seat in Cornwall, Pencraw Hall (nicknamed Black Rabbit Hall), tracks a tragedy that destroys her family from the inside out. Meanwhile, Lorna is traveling through the English countryside with her fiancé for wedding venues. A hazy childhood memory of visiting with her now-deceased mother drives Lorna to seek out Pencraw Hall, despite a series of foreboding incidents along the way. As Lorna and Amber’s stories unfold, they intertwine in the most suspenseful and surprising of ways.
Though elegant in her language, her lines tripping off the page seemingly effortlessly, every poem in Rachel Eliza Griffiths collection, Lighting the Shadow, is steeped in violent memory and calls for justice for all the forgotten dead who litter the landscape of our world. From all the black men and boys in America to women in Africa and India, Griffiths is both merciless and relentless in her quest for acknowledgement of those who were innocent of any crime and yet were punished by merely existing. Brilliant, gut-wrenching and important, Lighting the Shadow is not an easy book to get through but it is a vitally important read for everyone.
Amelia Martens delivers an utterly delightful collection of prose poems with The Spoons In the Grass Are There To Dig A Moat. The poems loosely shape the narrative of a couple and their baby girl but also delves into larger, charmingly random, themes such as war and religion. Creating a Jesus persona as both an amusing and cutting commentary on things such as Americans using illegal immigrants from Mexico for cheap farm labor to the textile factories in China that burned down due to unsafe conditions. This is a fantastic, stunning book for too many reasons to recount so just pick it up and start reading!