Rebecca Frederickson’s poetry in Secret Envy of the Unsaved is raw and poignant, beautiful and tragic. As another reviewer (from Amazon) said, she writes about the “lives and personalities of residents of a small, close-knit northern community in BC. It’s a book that begs to be read in one sitting but left handy for re -reading.”
Her writing adds depth to common experiences:
“… the unsaved,
who could say anything
without their hearts pounding
wild and chaotic inside them.”
Fredrickson’s work is unpretentious and fresh, despite being published in 2002.
I often write about “old” or at least “older” books, but I just read one that is still fairly hot off the press. It’s Alice Hoffman’s The World That We Knew, released in 2019.
I chose this book because I like some historical and period fiction, as well as war-time stories. The appeal of war-time stories is that this is recent history and should be studied even though it is particularly chilling. The lows are dramatic, gut-wrenching, and at times horrific; the highs may be the simple beauty of something in nature or as triumphant as escaping arrest.
From the front sleeve:
In Berlin in 1941, during humanity’s darkest hour, three unforgettable young women must act with courage and love to survive. At the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime …
I didn’t look any further, so after I brought the book home and began to read to discover supernatural/fantastical elements, I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t want to give it away, but a few of the characters see the Angel of Death, other angels, demons, and someone creates a golem. It’s all organic to the story and the story remains anchored in real life war-time struggles, but the elements add tension and surprise.
It’s a well-told story which kept my interest throughout, and the denouement was particularly bittersweet and yet satisfying.