The Other Side – Book Review
The Other Side by Paige Love-Rose was a free verse body of work that kept me turning the pages. The speaker, Esmeralda, opens with a narrative that offers a very conscious reality about her life decisions and regrets. She was able to deliver a quick, tumultuous flight through her life in a three-part format without restriction. The Other Side first begins as a precursor to a series of events in Esmeralda’s life that started with her struggles as an orphan child and her bout with low self-esteem. A very sheltered young lady goes off to college to live her dreams and is bogged down by one disappointment after another. When Esmeralda finally graduates her heart is set on a lucrative career path that is quickly thwarted when she is not taken seriously.
She blatantly writes about her ability to use beauty, feminine wiles, and sexual prowess to achieve financial stability. The tales of advantageous, one-sided love affairs and relationship choices provided for her generously but left her with no true emotional attachments and an emptiness due to her own issues and rigid boundaries. Her plot takes us on a whimsical voyage through her love life as she excites us with tales of secret love affairs and criminal acts. Then tugs at our heart-strings with accounts of broken hearts and tragic loss.
Her road to redemption was a difficult one as she wrestled with old relationships and self-reflection. An aged Esmeralda finally came face to face with herself. She realized she did not like who she had become. Her past had finally caught up with her and taught her lessons that only time and experience could. Eventually, she was able to move forward and instead of being defined by her past she was transformed by it. Becoming better for her journey, she moved forward; but not without baggage. The greatest lessons were recognizing her own value and making the changes necessary to build a life for herself and those whom she considered family.
I enjoyed the fact that there was a triumphant end to such a tragic storyline. Each poem highlighted a transition in her life that painted a vivid picture of that moment. The author did a great job highlighting the key areas of the character’s life that helped to build Esmeralda’s as a character and to drive the story as well. I enjoyed the symbolism of the broken mirror and how the title fit neatly into the story. I was somewhat disappointed that the piece being poetry lacked a lot of figurative language. This caused it to read more like a short story than a poem. The author may want to consider adding greater depth to this artistic endeavor in an effort to make it cohesive with its genre. There were several format issues and grammatical errors that will also need to be addressed.
Overall, I would rate The Other Side as 3-stars for its creativity and interesting storyline.