3.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

War is horrific for anyone, but for civilians that are caught in the crossfire with no hope of defending themselves, it is even more intense. Mankerian is a survivor of the Lebanese Civil War that took place in the 1970s. The regular life that they had become used to was ripped from them and the horror of bombs, snipers and being on the brink of starvation became the norm.

This collection is his memories of that time.

Because of the context, this is a bleak set of poems that recall his time spent in the conflict, and yet in the horror and death and destruction, there is always a glimmer of hope. It is that glimpse of a life that could be there again, that keeps him going in amongst the crushed dolls heads, the looting, the names of the fallen in the papers and the whistle of an incoming bomb.

She can’t sleep at night
Because when she closes her eyes

She remembers everything

It is not really a collection that I liked, the content is just too grim for that. However I did admire it, the inner strength that Mankerian has to turn these horrible events into poems must be immense. The prose is as bleak as it is stark, but he manages to convey the way that they tried as best as they could to try and carry on as normal as their society and the life that they had known was blasted apart. If you want an insight into what it is like to live in the middle of a civil war and still hold that yearning for a return to normal life. A book to be read so that we don’t have to suffer like these people did.

Three Favourite Poems
The Prodigal Son On A Field Trip
The Sniper As Cupid

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