Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe
Genre: Nonfiction | Poetry
Length: 157 pages
Published on 10th June 2019 by Author
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Megan O’Keeffe: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Received for free from the author in exchange for an honest review
Where I Ache is broken up into six chapters ranging from themes such as depression, jealousy, death, and strength. These are delicate subjects to talk about and most people avoid them because of the uncomfortable vulnerability. I’ve always written and shared my poetry with the hope that readers would relate and feel less alone. I hope you feel a sense of community to all of those connected throughout this collection.
I believe when reading poetry books you usually end up enjoying the ones that make you feel the most.
(I say this speaking from experience so perhaps it’s just a me thing. The experience being I read a Charle Bukowski collection on recommendation and whilst there was the odd one I liked, they didn’t really invoke much emotion from me.)
And feeling a lot whilst reading this collection I definitely did do.
When Megan reached out offering this for review she did perfectly warn me before hand that it was a collection that covered a handful of tough topics. (Addiction, mental illness, grief, low self-esteem, etc)
I agreed because I was at a point where I was ready to handle it.
But then life kicked me in the butt.
I’ve already spoken about my reading slump and how it was mostly due to real life events making things hard.
So I really had to make sure I picked this up on a steady day, a day I was in control of my emotions.
I really liked that it opened with an author’s note, addressing that the content may be triggering and seeking help is always an option. You do not have to fight your battles alone.
I felt heard and seen.
I had a lil cry and knew that my friendship group are amazing women. I’ll look up to them every day.
But the book, the poems!
I think with every poetry book there are definitely the ones that stand out to you and ones that you might not enjoy so much.
For me the ones I wasn’t really a fan of were those that focused heavily on grief or of losing someone as it’s not something I’ve personally experienced. This isn’t to say they were bad, I just didn’t have an emotional connection to them so when compared with the others that stuckout to me – they felt weaker.
They probably aren’t.
I think what I liked about this collection is that even though you can see the author working through a variety of personal problems there was a handful I still felt I could relate too strongly and that I constantly felt reminded and found myself coming to her final line in the author’s note.
You do not have to fight your battles alone.
Even though this isn’t stated explicitly throughout the poems, just to see these topics covered, written by someone else where enough of a reminder we’re not alone.
We can be strong alone, but we can also be stronger if we seek help.
Overall I did enjoy this poetry collection. It’s the style, genre, and topics that I tend to reach for when I read poetry. I’d definitely give this a recommendation to those who enjoy Amanda Lovelace’s work. I’d read more of Megan’s work and hope next time I’m not in such a weird life funk that I can appreciate it to a better extent.
Like I even enjoyed rereading the poems I screenshot for this review more this time around too!