Monique M. Jordan. Rainbows of Hope After the Storm. Art by Michael Ward. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2019.
Rating: 4 out of 5 goodnight kisses from afar
Recommended if you like: Mostly free verse, spiritual musings, hopeful messages specifically meant for “times of uncertainty.”
Bingo square: A book with a beautiful cover.
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I picked this collection up at my library’s Local Author Fair last year, so I was initially going to count it as an Indie book on my Bingo card (it’s literally an Indy book…i.e. written by an independently-published Indiana author. I get my kicks where I can, folks 😉 ). But then I realized it also has a particularly pretty cover (anything rainbow is guaranteed to catch my eye). Plus, I picked up a second book at the Fair, so I’m going to save the Indie/Indy square for that one.
And yes, I could’ve also counted it as a book with a color in its name (it literally has ALL THE COLORS in its name), but I have another title in mind for that one.
Rainbows is a very quick, feel-good read. It’s eerily prescient in both a general sense (it’s like Jordan knew we were going to need a pep talk in the very near future) and in specific lines, like the one I quoted in my rating, or in the opening of “Just Breathe”:
Grey plumes of smoke fill my lungs. / I’m here… / Still breathin’ / I’m here.
The very last lines (spoiler alert, I guess?) offer what I feel is the most direct and important message of all: “Remember this is not The End. / A New Chapter is being written.” It’s a clever bookish double entendre, amirite?
The poems are complemented by photographs of rainbows over country roads and suburb streets and power lines, and Michael Ward’s simple drawings of flowers and comets and clovers and rainbow butterflies.
The only reason I gave this collection a 4 instead of a 5 is that, other than those few lines I quoted, none of the poems struck me the way some of my favorite poetry has. They were lovely, and made me feel good, and I’m definitely glad to have read them, but they’re not the kind I would remember well enough to quote by heart. There weren’t any particularly jaw-dropping concepts or turns of phrase, at least not on first read-through.
Still, it’s very heartfelt and hopeful, and I’m very grateful to have met Ms. Jordan at the Fair. She’s written three other collections, so far:
Those titles do intrigue me…
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What about you, Bookwyrms? Any Local Authors (local to you) you think I should check out? Or, hey, any other Indy authors I should know about?