Author: Anne Hamilton

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 6:54 pm
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Book Reviews

The Jewellery Tree

The Jewellery Tree is a collection of new poems from local poet Jacqueline McDonnell.  The core of the book centres on (though is not exclusive to) her experiences of being a widow – and because of that don’t be misled into setting it aside as something overly sad or sentimental.  A single reading of Wild Side or The Widow Lane are testament to  the way McDonnell writes with sincerity, some pain and shining resilience.  Her subtle humour adds a lighter touch to often challenging subjects and that makes her work very readable.  Other poems, like Stargazer Lilies and The End of The Affair, for example, are just plain fun!

Even people who read a lot are often wary of poetry as something inaccessible or pretentious.  Sometimes, perhaps, it is interesting, fun even, to pick through the obscure meanings or layered description of a great work, but many readers simply want to sit down, be entertained, read something that strikes a chord or somehow inspires them.  McDonnell’s work does that.  It feels personal; more than describing events surely she has experienced them… from Mussels and Buses to Cruise, there is a story, a bit like a memoir through poetry.  And of course, it is also a fitting tribute to her late husband.

My favourite is Widow’s Weeds, but you’ll find your own.  It’s a book to dip into or to give as a gift.  It is beautifully produced and as a bonus there is a short biography of Jacqueline McDonnell, a very interesting woman both within and outside her poetry.

The Jewellery Tree: Selected Poems.  £6.00

Available from:

11 Ancrum Bank

Dalkeith

EH22 3AY

Please send cheque (payable to Dr Jacqueline McDonnell) for £6.00 per book to include P&P

Or email: j.mcdon@btinernet.com

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