Official Review: Cracked Piano by Margo Taft Stever

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Mercy Bolo
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Latest Review: Cracked Piano by Margo Taft Stever

Official Review: Cracked Piano by Margo Taft Stever

Post by Mercy Bolo » 23 Jan 2019, 04:35

[Following is an official review of "Cracked Piano" by Margo Taft Stever.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Cracked Piano by Margo Taft Stever is a collection of poems that dissect the human psyche. The author pieced the work using letters written by Peter Rawson Taft, her great-grandfather, while he sought treatment at a psychiatric facility.

What I liked most about the book is that the author chronicled her great-grandfather's history at the beginning of the book. He was a brilliant man plagued by illness because, in the 1870s, there weren't reliable cures for many common maladies. A misdiagnosis coupled with archaic treatment methods prolonged his stay at the facility and isolated him from his family. He penned raw accounts of his time at the establishment and opened up about feeling empty. The author also includes letters from her great-grandfather's doctor. These updated the family about the man's progress and shed light on medical practices which are in stark contrast to today's.

The poems reveal the inner thoughts of a caged but optimistic individual. They tackle relevant themes like divorce, loneliness, and depression. Many people suffer silently, and I'm glad the author's great-grandfather had an outlet to express himself. He was a forward-thinking individual who cared about the environment. He loved nature and was most peaceful when he was one with the elements. I resonated with this views on war and conflict because they affect many parts of the world, leaving people homeless, starving, and dying. The poems also create awareness about infectious diseases like tuberculosis. A time when contracting the disease meant a death sentence is difficult to picture, but it made me appreciate the milestones that the medical community has achieved.

There is nothing I didn't like about this book. It is well written, concise, and enables readers to explore different psychological landscapes. The author states that ethically sourced materials have been used to produce the print version of this book. That earns her popularity among environmentally conscious readers. As a book lover, it made me wonder about the environmental impact of the books I read and the paper I use. Since this is a short book, it is suitable for anyone looking for a quick read. I read some of the poems more than once to grasp them entirely, but that shouldn't deter any dedicated reader.

Overall, the text is well edited. I noticed an extra spacing between the words of one verse, but that doesn't prevent me from awarding the book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. It is a refreshing read that I would recommend to lovers of poetry and psychology enthusiasts.

Cracked Piano
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Post by Rose Harebate » 24 Jan 2019, 13:23

Though I'm not a fan of poems due to the fact that I find them hard to understand, the plot seems interesting. Nice review.

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Post by chewy4uto » 24 Jan 2019, 17:48

I enjoy poetry and find mental health care fascinating. Thank you for your review. I will have to read it sometime.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 24 Jan 2019, 18:26

I haven't given much thought to the materials books are made of until now either. What a brilliant idea! I hope the practice becomes an industry standard. While I am not a fan of poetry, I appreciate work that provides others with an outlet for life struggles. The grandfather sounds like an interesting soul.
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Post by kdstrack » 24 Jan 2019, 19:46

I'm not sure about the poetry, but the grandfather's story sounds very interesting. I would be interested in the historical aspect of the story. Thanks for your compelling review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 25 Jan 2019, 08:19

I'm not one that normally likes poetry, but this intrigues me. I love that the history is included with the letters from the doctor. I can only imagine what he was subjected to. Thanks.
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Post by cap5 » 27 Jan 2019, 07:10

i think its gonna be one of the best book to spend some time in it. You will not feel lonely when reading this book hope these poems will help readers to understand and take measures against severe disuses to make the world better and safe to everyone that each creature can enjoy the living.

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Post by Ms_Bookworm » 27 Jan 2019, 11:08

I enjoy reading poetry when I can put it into context and this sounds right up my alley: an historical accounting of a patient in a psychiatric institution (asylum) softened by the filter of 100+ years of familial love, respect and curiosity. Thank you for such a thoughtful review.

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Post by Rayasaurus » 28 Jan 2019, 23:21

Thank you for the review, this poetry collection is one I think I’ll find very interesting.

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Post by _Delly_01 » 15 Feb 2019, 16:13

I'm not a poetry enthusiast, but the content intrigues me. The only downside is how you've mentioned it took you a couple of re-reads to grasp the plot. I feel that it would detract from my experience, because I find poetry hard to get into already. Your review was concise and well-written, and I enjoyed reading it. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts.

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