[Book Review] I Wish My Father by Lesléa Newman

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By Lesléa Newman

This poetry collection explores the father-daughter relationship based on the author’s relationship with her own father. The collection is progressive in time as her father ages and reaches end of life.

Newman’s writing is emotional and raw as she wrestles with issues so many face as parents age. Coping with difficult issues such as knowing when it’s time to take the keys away. Her writing is powerful and reflective. I appreciated her use of humor to brighten the mood at times. The collection is a follow up to her earlier work, I Carry My Mother.

This work will resonate with a wide audience. I look forward to reading more by this author. I would also like to thank the author for a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

More About the Author

Lesléa Newman

Lesléa Newman is the author of 75 books for readers of all ages including the teen novel in verse, OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD; the middle grade novel, HACHIKO WAITS; the poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER; the short story collection, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK; and the children’s books, A SWEET PASSOVER, THE BOY WHO CRIED FABULOUS, KETZEL, THE CAT WHO COMPOSED, and HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD was named an American Library Association 2013 Stonewall Honor Book, and A SWEET PASSOVER was named a 2013 Sydney Taylor Honor as well. A past poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she is a faculty member of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing program. Her newest poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER is a book-length cycle of poems that explores a daughter’s journey through her mother’s illness and death. From diagnosis through yahrtzeit (one-year anniversary), the narrator grapples with what it means to lose a mother. The poems, written in a variety of forms (sonnet, pantoum, villanelle, sestina, terza rima, haiku, and others) are finely crafted, completely accessible, and full of startling, poignant, and powerful imagery. These poems will resonant with all who have lost a parent, relative, spouse, friend, or anyone whom they dearly love.

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