I do not come to this book as any kind of neutral reviewer – my name is mentioned in the dedication. I’ve read many of these stories and poems in parts and in whole as they were developing. One of them goes back to the collection that brought Lou Pulford into my life some years ago. Lou was a gift from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, who sent me an anthology to review. We got talking, we’ve kept talking, she’s a wonderful person to have in my life. For this book, she’s writing as Penny Blake.
So, here’s a confession that relates very much to Mahrime. I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a monster. I’m the intolerable, the excessive, frightening, unacceptable thing to be chased out of your village with pitchforks. When Lou came into my life, I’d not long escaped from a pitchfork incident, and was feeling awful about myself and unable to deal with people. And Lou said yes, I know what kind of monster you are. Let me dry those monstery tears and tell you a story. (Some poetic license has been taken in writing this for the blog, but only for brevity).
This is beautiful writing, haunting, soulful difficult, alive with feeling and incredibly powerful. It will be too much for some people; too difficult, too raw. But if you are too much, too difficult and too raw it will be a lot like coming home. There is solace here, and also hope.
Mahrime means outcast. This is a collection of stories and poems for a certain kind of monster. Those of us who are on fire. Those of us who have swallowed the dragon we should have cared for. Those of us who have written our stories in our own blood and used our finger bones as tools to carve what we had to say into the walls. This is a collection for people who have ached with wanting a tribe and never having found a tribe. It turns out it isn’t just me. If you are a person who needs to read these stories, and cry over them, and burn too much with empathy and recognition, then get this book now. Go.
Go here, in fact – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FLSRPVR