Official Review: The Stages of Rot by Eden Tijerina

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MrsCatInTheHat
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Official Review: The Stages of Rot by Eden Tijerina

Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Stages of Rot" by Eden Tijerina.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Eden Tijerina’s The Stages of Rot delves into Ms. Tijerina’s exploration of her own grief upon losing her long time boyfriend. The author takes us through her eight stages of grief through prose and photography. In each stage, the author conveys her love, thoughts, and feelings as she processes life without him. Each stage starts with a quote that depicts the essence of the author’s progression. Prose and photos are intertwined to tell her story.

The cover art immediately draws you in, with the text appearing as roots going down into the ground and up out of the letters, towards the sky. You know the book must deal with death or something morbid but aren’t yet sure how that will be expressed. With some research, I discovered that the original book is a hardback book that one might expect to find sitting on a coffee table.

Tijerina’s prose makes you feel her love and pain. Some are quick thoughts, while others are more extended reflections. With this quote, “Fallen blackbird, great mechanical serpent, misshapen infant, always waiting for me to invite you in, my handsome harbinger of dead and dying things,” one immediately “sees” death. I was drawn in and remembered my own feelings shortly after my father’s death. Throughout the book, the connections to my own life were genuine, primarily when she refers to herself as the keeper of memories. She brings to life what many of us have a hard time expressing ourselves: death, grief, love, and life.

Photographer Celina Odeh shows Tijerina’s grief in a vivid, artistic manner. Some photos show Tijerina naked, forlorn, and desolate, while others are of places and objects, often having the aura of fog. One of my favorites shows the author naked, leaning on a wall, appearing sad but perhaps seeing life as she looks up at some butterflies. Note that some photos are graphic in unique ways and are not for the feint of heart. Odeh’s ability to convey Tijerina’s prose through photos is by far my favorite part of the book.

Ultimately, The Stages of Rot is a book about surviving grief with courage and coming out of it. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The combination of prose and photography demonstrates the process of grief in ways I haven’t seen elsewhere. The editing is flawless. The only thing I disliked was the numerous blank pages, but I do think this was a stylistic choice, rather than an editing issue. Adult readers who are experiencing, or have experienced grief, are most likely to find this book appealing. Some level of maturity is needed to process what is shared.

******
The Stages of Rot
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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

What a fabulous review, and the premise of showing grief through photography isn't something I have ever seen in a book before. Thanks for the compelling review.

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Post by gabrielletiemi »

This book sounds very profound and emotional. It makes such an interesting approach to the theme of grief. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by Elvis Best »

The combination of prose and photos sound very interesting to me. Thanks for this honest review. Good job!
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Post by Slater678 »

I like the way the author has expressed herself and creativity even in the book cover. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by diana lowery »

The title and the cover certainly got my attention, and your review was thought provoking, but I am not sure I have the "level of maturity" needed to read this book.

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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
17 Jul 2020, 05:05
What a fabulous review, and the premise of showing grief through photography isn't something I have ever seen in a book before. Thanks for the compelling review.
I hadn't either, which makes it even more remarkable.
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

gabrielletiemi wrote:
17 Jul 2020, 05:14
This book sounds very profound and emotional. It makes such an interesting approach to the theme of grief. Thanks for the great review!
You're welcome!
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

Elvis Best wrote:
17 Jul 2020, 06:16
The combination of prose and photos sound very interesting to me. Thanks for this honest review. Good job!
You're welcome!
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MrsCatInTheHat
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

Slater678 wrote:
17 Jul 2020, 09:40
I like the way the author has expressed herself and creativity even in the book cover. Thanks for the wonderful review.
I did too. When an author has personally experienced something, they can really reach out and touch your heart.
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

diana lowery wrote:
17 Jul 2020, 09:57
The title and the cover certainly got my attention, and your review was thought provoking, but I am not sure I have the "level of maturity" needed to read this book.
Lol... I'm sure you have the maturity needed!
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

P.S. I'm not sure why this is listed under Graphic Novels... It is non-fiction and not remotely fictional.
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Post by Ms_Rita30 »

This is an awesome review. Surviving grief sure takes a lot of courage. This is a must read for me.

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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

Ms_Rita30 wrote:
18 Jul 2020, 02:12
This is an awesome review. Surviving grief sure takes a lot of courage. This is a must read for me.
It does take courage, as well as courage to share.
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Post by Kanda_theGreat »

I thought there were only 5 stages of grief, based on my psychological classes; I wonder what the other three are.
Thank you for the review.

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