Book Review : "From The Ashes"
From the Ashes by Christie L. Starkweather
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I chanced to find this gal on Facebook and liked what I saw, so I picked up her book. I could really relate to it. It's split into five sections, an almost classical hero's journey from pain and ashes up to self-acceptance and strength.
Christie Starkweather has a roaring strength and passion that I really loved. She doesn't sugar coat her hard times or the despair they engendered, but throughout, there is always a fierce will to survive and rise up.
I liked "Redemption" in which neither angels nor devils can take in all of who she is. This necessary duality is at the heart of the book. "Playing Pretend" is a deceptively simple piece about the seductive emptiness of living inauthentically. I liked "Missing Me" because I've experienced that sensation of having lost myself. "Stolen Pieces" displays her characteristically sharp and unflinchingly honest style. "Into The Flames" is back to duality again, and it gave me a shiver of self-recognition. "Sipping Tea" is a fanciful entry in the more light-hearted middle section. The fourth section was my least favorite, as there were several almost greeting card-ish love poems there, and to me she seemed to lose the thread a little bit, as those drunk on love will do. I did love "100% Authentic" because, as a Detroit girl, the line "I wasn't built on an assembly line" pleased. In the final section I felt that she really found her footing again. It's full of hard-won wisdom and celebration of being there for one's self, there for others, and at peace with who one really is.
This is a strong honest collection and I recommend it.
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