⚠️ Warning – High Probability of Unpopular Opinions Ahead ⚠️
I’ve read Amanda Lovelace’s the witch doesn’t burn in this one twice now. I wasn’t familiar with Amanda’s poetry and was intrigued so read it immediately after I downloaded it. I had strong contradictory feelings about it and wanted to know how I’d feel after it sat with me for a while and then reread it. So, here we are straight after the reread.
My review may well feel like one big soapbox moment but if this book has reminded me of anything it’s that I am entitled to speak my truth and you are just as entitled to speak yours, whether we agree or not.
What I Loved
Content Warning – I really respect an author who knows the content of their writing may be triggering for some and points it out at the beginning so readers can make an informed choice about the suitability of that book for them personally. This book came with a detailed trigger warning for topics including: “child abuse, intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, eating disorders, trauma, death, murder, violence, fire, menstruation, transphobia & more.”
The Girl Power – I’m all about women speaking their truth. I love anyone of any gender overcoming adversity and stereotypes to achieve what others told them was impossible for them. I love strong role models and people who are able to transform what could have destroyed them into something that’s able to inspire others.
This Book Being Published – Just the fact that a woman who’s openly refuting the patriarchy and speaking her passionate truth has had her words published for anyone who wants to read them is a triumph. Sure, western society as a whole has a long, long way to go in terms of equality, glass ceilings, you name it. But this book has been published. This woman has not been silenced. We are free to read or not read it, and we are free to have our own opinions about it, even if they differ from other people.
What I Didn’t Love
The Generalisation of Men – While I certainly acknowledge the unfathomable acts that some men have perpetrated against women and have known my fair share of them, I also want to acknowledge all of the men that don’t fit in the perpetrator category. I know some extraordinary men who I know I could trust with my life and I don’t think it’s fair to make sweeping statements that are true of some but certainly not all. Yes, I realise this book isn’t about the trustworthy, respectful men but sometimes I worry that by generalising and only pointing out the bad (that I don’t deny is there), we forget to recognise those who have a positive impact on those whose lives they touch.
The Style of Poetry – By all of the positive feedback this collection is receiving it’s obvious this poet and her writing is resonating with a lot of people. It’s just not the type of poetry I typically enjoy and while I felt like shouting out a “Woohoo! Girl power!” at the beginning, by the end the almost constant rage against patriarchy and men exhausted me. There were a couple of instances of positivity such as “we can’t lose our empathy” and “you can be benevolent & love this world back to life”, but I felt emotionally and physically drained when I finished reading.
If you loved this book and were empowered by it, that’s fantastic. I do expect it will be very well received by plenty of people. I think in the end it boils down to this book and I not being made for one another.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now – indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.