Monday, August 12, 2019

Review (ARC): The Art of Taxidermy

Author: Sharon Kernot
Started reading: August 11th 2019
Finished the book: August 12th 2019
Pages: 240
Genres: Poetry, Fiction
To be Published: August 13th 2019
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads score: 3.91
My score:
Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does.

And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.

The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.

My thoughts
I usually avoid poetry books, and I didn't even know this was a poetry book. I just requested it on Netgalley because the cover and blurb seemed attractive.
I'm so glad that I got to read this book, because it was beautiful, small and big at the same time. Sad, but beautiful, yes.

  • Death: This book was very different from things I usually read. Death is not a celebrated topic in most books. In this book it was the main topic and the way it was portrayed was beautiful. I could appreciate death in the way it was a big part of this book. It also shows a way of coping with grief and the way people mourn in different ways.
  • Simplicity: The poetry in this book is one of simplicity. The book is so poetic and it's build up out of verses. It's easy to read and easy to understand. The poetry actually made me fall in love with this book, while I usually avoid reading it. Very well done.
  • German: It was fun to read more of a language that I speak next to Dutch and English. Germany is a part of the story and of the characters life and I liked reading about it in a way that it feels like home.
  • Small and big: The book feels small, with its short sentences. It contains not as much words as a lot of books with 200+ pages do. But it was so well done that the book felt small, but at the same time very big. The message in this book is big, the emotions are big, the depth of everything that happened, all very big.
  • Answers: You are gradually getting your answers with a little plot twist here and there. I felt that all the answers came at the right moment and there were some things that I didn't see coming. So next to being poetic, the book has some mystery and I was seeking for answers.
  • Birds: I am not a bird person, I don't know much about all the different species and English is not my native language. So that made it sometimes a bit difficult to picture. Birds are a big part of this book and I just didn't feel like looking up the birds every time, because that got me distracted.
Small, yet big. Cryptic, yet easy to understand. A book that made me believe that maybe I can love poetry. A small book with a big story, big emotions and revelations. Definitely worth your time, even if you're not sure you will like poetry!

Other opinions on this book
"Completely mesmerizing, fresh and unexpected."
- Diana Sweeney, winner of 2013 Text Prize

"This book is beautifully written. While the novel is about grief, it is also about the importance of remembering and keeping the memory of loved ones alive."
- Magpies Magazine

"An exquisite lyrical verse novel. A sharply evocative tale."
- West Weekend

Memorable quotes from this book
"It was not beautifully remade; it was awkwardly dead."

"I can feel it, Annie whispered. The air is heavy with ghosts. The birds sing only sad songs. The ground swallowed many tears."

Thanks for reading!
I'd love to talk books; please let me know what you think about this book/review.


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~ Esther