4 out of 4 stars
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Rituals of Season is a heart-wrenching compilation of poems by Giovanna Ess. Each poem depicts her survival experience in an abusive relationship with her now ex-husband. Her experiences, like many, are both physical and psychological in nature.
The author’s first couple of poems describe the beginning of the relationship. The words are more loving and the relationship seems happy. It does not take long, however, for the tone to change to sadder and grittier verses. She describes the ugly words spoken to her, the abuse to fulfill his desires, and the incessant fear that filled her heart awaiting her ex- husband’s return home each day.
This book comes at a time where violence and abuse towards women is being protested against across the world. It is heartbreaking to me that anyone could have the kind of experiences to be able to write a book like this. I almost dreaded turning another page because it meant there was another instance of abuse that compelled this author to write down. I do not always enjoy poetry but I feel it was the appropriate medium for this subject matter. The meter and format was sometimes disjointed which is indicative of the disjointed feelings in this kind of perilous relationship.
The overall tone of this book was quite dark. With only five chapters, it was short but packed with intense emotions. The chapter and poem titles gave insight to what was to come. Despite the sadness, there were a couple sweet poems. The author gave birth to two sons through the course of the book. The poems she writes about her children are very sweet. I thought they were welcome breaths of fresh air. I did notice a few grammatical errors but it did not detract from the overall experience of the book.
I give Rituals of Season by Giovanna Ess 4 out of 4 stars. This was a tough read; but an important one. Abuse is not an easy subject matter to discuss. Many people turn a blind eye to it. I think that is why this kind of work is so important. The ability to write books and poetry provides a voice to those who otherwise might not have one. It also encourages those who have similar experiences to speak out and get help. The author, in her dedication, includes several phone numbers to The Domestic Violence Hotline. I feel that this book can be helpful to anyone who finds themselves in abusive relationships. There are people out there who sympathize and want to help.
Rituals of Season
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