Moonpies & Naugahyde: A Childhood Survived


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Paperback: US$14.16 (free shipping)


Black & White Edition: Watercolor Illustrations presented in Greyscale Drawing inspiration from her past as well as the ordeals of others, Melanie Thomason speaks for the child she once was and for those who have yet to find their voice. The poet knows that abuse in all of its forms leave scars, some are just not visible on the surface. While MOONPIES & NAUGAHYDE delves into emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse, it is not about being a victim but rather about surviving the abuse and refusing to be defined by it. The poems coupled with the evocative artwork by Georgiann Carlson, create something to be experienced.

This book is a collection of poems written in free rhyme (and rhythm). That means that there are no complex structures behind it, so you do not need to know how to read it properly. Now, due to my studies, I know how to review poems with rhythm, figures of speech and all those things, so I did not really want to jump into something that I cannot review like I was taught to. However, the author convinced me to read through some sample poems, and just focus on what feelings they spark in me. So that is how she won this review.

Since I cannot discuss the meter and other technicalities, I will review the poems like they are a simple book, trying to tell a story.

First thing we notice is the dark theme. The author expressed her awful childhood through these poems, and I must give my respect for that. Some of these poems are not for the faint hearted, they might get you sad or angry. Maybe even both. It is definitely not a book that you would pick up and scroll through before your sleep. It is far from light reading.

So, we have this common theme running through the poems, but some poems have a different theme. Now, this would not be an issue, but after, for example, there are five poems with the same theme, then there is a cut and a new poem with a new theme appears. Right after that one, the previous theme continues. I felt like this really did break the flow. What should have been done here is, put these poems with the light theme at the beginning and at the end. The reason is, that you should start building from the light theme to the dark, reach the climax and then proceed back to light theme to offer the reader a catharsis. Otherwise, I as a reader feel really bad and there is a heavy burden on me at the end, and this affects me personally. It makes me not want to pick up the book again for some time, even if I liked it, because I do not want to go through this trip of emotions again.

I will not go into each poem and describe it, but to those of you who will buy the book, some poems are very good, for example Poetry, Where Evil Lives, Walking Dead and Spring. I strongly recommend that you check them out. These are the kind of poems that you would return to, they offer some solid advice or just push the right buttons on your emotions.

There is one more thing that I loved, the artwork next to each poem. It really brought the poems out and complimented them. But (there is always a but), I did not like it when the poems were played with. For example, the poem Love was written vertically instead of horizontally. Now, I know this offers a great artistic value, but it is a nightmare, if you are reading it on the phone, like I was. Artistic and simple is always the best option.

Because of all this (plus the fact that I could not relate to some poems and they left me numb, while others gave me a bit too much emotion) I am giving this one…

Book recommendation: 7/10


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