Paper Voices: From the Page to the Heart
by Marilyn Dean
Trafford Publishing

"I roll with the punches, hang out with the best,
To maintain my beauty, I get proper rest,
I still notice men, they still wink at me.
I'll always be woman, I'll always be free,
To do what I want, whatever that be,
Well, maybe 'till I'm ninety-three."

Paper Voices is dedicated to women of all colors and religious persuasions all around the world. In her poems and proems (which is an introductory statement to the upcoming poem), the author talks about issues that affect many women, for example, sexual abuse, adultery, pink slips, divorce, lovers, and the importance of God in their lives, among other things. Dean underlines the perseverance of the female spirit through all the obstacles which life might throw in women's path. She stresses that with God's help, all problems can be overcome and resolved, and the woman comes out on top, victorious.

Particularly of note is the proem "Rogers/Rovers of Our Lives," about useless guys who deserve to be dumped out with the garbage on the street, or the poem "I Don’t Hate you Anymore," about moving on after one's divorce.

At the end of the book, there's a handy writing exercise called "Reflections," which invites women readers to sit back, relax, and start writing whatever comes to mind. This is a good book for self-reflection, and it could be used to connect with other women and share in their commonalities and life struggles, while men will learn more about the complex relationships of the women in their lives and about womanhood in general.

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