Mother and Sons
by Laurel Richards
Author Reputation Press

"I never wanted perfection, only caring
Not striking beauty, but honest understanding
One who simply knows me and loves me for what I am"

Love can take so many forms that it encompasses virtually every deep human connection that people make in life. Parents love their children, siblings love each other, romance blossoms between two enamored individuals, and can even turn bittersweet if not nurtured and maintained. This book of poems, essays, and short stories examines each facet of love, regardless of the form it takes or the outcome of its connection. Over a dozen selections explore form, verse, or prose but always on the subject of the trust and bonds that form when two humans come together. Sometimes brutal, sometimes fulfilling and sweet, these works capture the high and low sentiments that mark the vulnerability that comes with opening oneself up to another person’s affection.

At first glance, one would expect this to be a pure collection of poetry. However, after a few poems that build this expectation, readers are treated to “Reflections from a Year-Old Wedding Cake,” an essay that bucks both the form of the previous selections but also shifts the perspective in an interesting way that catches the reader by surprise. From this moment forward, the author continues to play with both subject matter and structure, lending the book an element of intrigue that will keep readers eager to turn pages even as they process the emotions and storytelling presented. This read does not overstay its welcome, keeping the reader fascinated and drawn into every word before ending with a surprising and engrossing short story. Packed with intensity and emotional honesty, these short selections are ideal for a quick, rapid-fire read.

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