Monday, 11 June 2012

Bookworm #7: Once in a house on fire

"At school, I couldn't help but grin. At home, something ripped under my skin when I smiled, trying to pretend that everything was fine. Deadly moods lurked in a purple-white haze, smoke clinging to the curtains, turning stale overnight.” 

Thought I'd blog about one of my latest reads today as I've been rubbish at keeping up the bookworm feature despite the fact that I've been reading non-stop recently! I actually read Once in a house on fire a while ago but totally forgot to write about it.

Ashworth writes a memoir of her harrowing childhood as she grows up in 1970s Manchester. Written from her own point of view, she explores her struggle for identity as she is faced with violence, poverty and racism as a young girl. Although the subject matter is extremely dark, Ashworth's poetic style makes this a hard to put down book. I read it almost from cover to cover and I began to feel for this vulnerable child floating in a world of apparent hopelessness and cruelty. She describes how her love for literature got her through the hard times and made 'miserable things seem sublime.' I can't even begin to describe how beautifully written this book is; it actually makes me feel a little envious. Ultimately this is a book about strength and survival and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

“A poem was a box for your soul. That was the point. It was the place where you could save bits of yourself, and shake out your darkest feelings, without worrying that people would think you were strange. While I was writing, I would forget myself and everyone else; poetry made me feel part of something noble and beautiful and bigger than me.” 

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