Austin made a gorgeous debut with Magpie in August so when asked to read and review For You, Rowena I was filled with excitement and trepidation. I imagine Austin is too, as her second novel releases, a dark departure from her first.
There is little I can say which won’t spoil the narrative of this 194-page thriller and that is what makes it such a glorious read. It is the kind of book I want to watch somebody else read. I want to watch another experience goosebumps like I did and fall down Austin’s rabbit hole of deadly love and lust.
Despite being her second novel, Austin continues to prove she is a master of her craft. She twists characters and narratives like locks of hair and runs them like ribbon through her hands; her writer’s hands which know exactly when to make you smile or when to drop your heart into your belly. This isn’t a conventional story and nor is it told in a conventional way. Austin takes risks every time she tells a story and I think that is how she so expertly captures the essence of the story itself. We are human because we have the tendency to throw caution to the wind and risk it all. Thus, For You, Rowena is brimming with humanity and its unconditional love and its cruelty. It is both perfectly constructed and unsettling.
Austin also introduces us to two female characters who are even more complex than Magpie and Lynette from Magpie in August. Rowena and Mara could have been written as one dimensional femme fatales. Instead, Austin gives us two women that change our feelings about them multiple times. They are not made of all things nice, sugar and spice. Mara speaks like she has shards of broken glass in her mouth and Rowena speaks like honey but cries like a cat mewling into the wind.
I fear if I say anymore I will spill all. I will hold my tongue and simply say, you will fall in love with For You, Rowena’s darkness and when you do, I want you to imagine me saying ‘I told you so.’
Whisper and the Roar’s own Christine Ray will be publishing her first book of poetry through Sudden Denouement Publishing in July 2018.
“I draw down the moon from the velvet
cradle her in my arms like a babe
bathe in her icy luminescence
draw it deep into my body
until my skin is translucent
cool to the touch
I am filled with the light
of a thousand stars”
Sudden Denouement Publishing released Rachel Finch’s stunning book of poetry ‘A Sparrow Stirs its Wings” on June 28, 2018. In addition to her contributions to Blood Into Ink and Whisper and the Roar, Finch is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world.
“Every now and then, when the world seems to be rocked in chaos and people are screaming without listening – vile words and cries for help climbing on top of and over each other – a single voice stands out, and that voice is pure in its truth and stunning in its wisdom.
Rachel Finch, and her debut book, A Sparrow Stirs its Wings, is that voice right now. Turning her heartbreaking abuse into heart-wrenching prose, Finch writes her truth and gives her strength to every unnamed victim turned survivor.”
Nicole Lyons, I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl
“A mark of a great poet Is the ability to make emotional connection with their audience, and Rachel Finch does exactly that.”
Faye Brown, Black Orchid Poetry
Paperback, 148 pages/Published June 28, 2018 by Sudden Denouement Publishing