itle: Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart

Author: Alice Walker

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Atria Books

The Blurb

Presented in both English and Spanish, Alice Walker shares a timely collection of nearly seventy works of passionate and powerful poetry that bears witness to our troubled times, while also chronicling a life well-lived. From poems of painful self-inquiry, to celebrating the simple beauty of baking frittatas, Walker offers us a window into her magical, at times difficult, and liberating world of activism, love, hope and, above all, gratitude. Whether she’s urging us to preserve an urban paradise or behold the delicate necessity of beauty to the spirit, Walker encourages us to honor the divine that lives inside all of us and brings her legendary free verse to the page once again, demonstrating that she remains a revolutionary poet and an inspiration to generations of fans.

The Review

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart is a beautiful collection of poetry by the inimitable Alice Walker who looks at race and prejudice. The poems are powerful and evocative and they are a perfect palate cleanser when you are between books.

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker is available now.

For more information regarding Atria Books (@AtriaBooks) please visit www.atria-books.com.

The Blurb

‘My name is Flick and these are the images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.’

Marooned by a lack of education (and lack of anything better to do), Will Flicker, a.k.a. “Flick,” spends most days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, whether Pepsi is better than Coke, and how best to get clear of his tiny, one-horse suburb. But Flick senses there’s something else out there waiting for him, and the sign comes in the form of the new girl in town—a confident, unconventionally beautiful girl named Rainbow. As their relationship develops, Flick finds himself torn between the twisted loyalty he feels to his old life and the pull of freedom that Rainbow represents.

The Review

Having previously read (and loved) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin I was excited to see what her previous novel had to offer. Fortunately for me, Flick is an excellent story.

Without trying to make comparisons between this and Golden Boy (because believe me it would be a difficult thing to do – it would be like comparing a tree with a unicorn) I do have to comment on the growth that you can see in Tarttelin’s writing. That is not to say that Flick isn’t well written – it is ridiculously good – but having read both books in the wrong order I can definitely see how Tarttelin’s writing has matured.

Flick has all the angsty high school drama that you would expect from a cast of characters who are all still in their teens – and then some. To liken it to a teenage Trainspotting wouldn’t be wrong. It has all the elements required to be similar to the Irvine Welsh classic – starting with the sassy narration.

Flick, our protagonist, has a disaffected way of looking at life. Having lived the working class life his whole life he sees no glorious future in staying in his home town. However, dreams for bigger better things are not something that the working class kids should aspire to – because for the people of small seaside town of Cleveland, it just ain’t gonna happen!

Tartellin’s voice as a writer is amazing. You feel compelled to read her stories because she has such a gritty grip on the nuances of her characters, their situations and the society they live in. She is one of the better contemporary writers we have and more people should know about and celebrate her work.

Flick by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.

You can follow Abigail Tarttelin (@abigailsbrain) on Twitter.

Flick 2

Miss Prudencia Prim is new to the village; a isolated village in the outskirts of France. She has taken the position of librarian and quick sets about organising the gentleman’s library which is filled with dusty tomes of years gone by. However, Miss Prim quickly realises that not all that goes on in this village is what it seems.

The story focuses on Prudencia Prim and how she adjusts to the people and their (often strange) customs. Miss Prim is always proper and conscientious about the things she says or does. She is fiercely independent and firm in her beliefs and initially finds it hard to adapt or change for anyone or anything; nonetheless, she does find herself warming to the quirks and foibles of the residents in town – even when they make it their town mission to find her a husband.

For me, The Awakening of Miss Prim has echoes of literatures past embedded in the story. I couldn’t help but find that the people of the village came across a bit Stepford Wives, almost like the rules had been changed and the people who live their conditioned to act a certain way. The banter between Prudencia and the man in the wingchair reminded me of Elizabeth and Darcy – quick, cutting and chock full of wit.

However, it was an extremely curious read. The narrative paralleled Miss Prim’s attitude and countenance but what it also did was keep you at arms length. You are watching the story unfold but never fully immerse yourself in it. I think this is supported by the fact that you never learn the male leads name. Everything seems to be kept at a distance. Whether or not that was to replicate some of Miss Prim’s personality is up for interpretation.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was different from what I was expecting and entertaining in its strangeness.

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera is available now.

The awakening of Miss Prim