Monday, April 9, 2012

The Broken Book

My thoughts often turn to Christchurch. When the weather is clear and serene, as it has been this Easter, I feel glad that Christchurch is getting a break. Whenever I hear of something good happening in Canterbury, I stop to give thanks.
Just over a year ago I was making shrines for Christchurch on the beach. This one was made on the day we observed 2 minutes' silence throughout the country, remembering those who died in the big quake.

This morning I lay in bed and finished Fiona Farrell's The Broken Book. It moves me, the way she set out to write a peaceful book about walking, and then let the earthquakes crack the book open. and become 'a testament to the shaky, wayward paths we walk.'

Shaky are the paths indeed, and yet I felt safe walking with her. Her prose is precise and beautiful, with rhythm and exquisite juxtapositions.

The poems, which run through the book like fissures, are also openings to light. The book ends with the sea and hills falling, and yet asserts the power of love. It was the perfect book to complete on Easter Monday.


Lynley said...

I am on the reserve list at the public library for this book. I am eager to read it now that I have read your review Juliet.

The colours of your "yin/yang" on the beach are very striking.

Juliet said...

I'm sure you will love it Lynley. I had quite a wait for it at my library, but it was worth waiting for.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - sounds like a very interesting book - ah! I see you've got a tab for books - and I guess this one will be put there too.

Christchurch suffered incredible devastation .. but the way you've described the book is fascinating.

Thanks - have a happy Autumn .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

Thanks Hilary. The Books tab on my blog features only the books I've published, but Fiona Farrell's 'Broken Book' should be available overseas or through Amazon I should think. It's on the Auckland University Press website.

Ruth G said...

I haven't read this book yet, but it's on my reserve list. I love knowing that you were reading it at Easter and thinking of us down here.

Juliet said...

Ruth, it's a 'must' for you, and I'm sure it will speak to you. I love the way she holds the shock events in a larger context. Yes, you were all very much in my thoughts over Easter.