I’d like to thank Love Books Tours for including me on this tour.
All opinions are, of course, my own.
I Left the Room Burning
Publication Date: February 5, 2021
Length: 110 pages
Publisher: Wild Press Books
A woman who never wanted children finds herself reluctantly bringing up her sister’s daughter. The aunt is in an abusive relationship. The niece is a strange child who wishes to disappear. The narrative threaded through these eighty short poems confuses and obfuscates, whilst at the same time completely drawing the reader into the extent that by the end, one is left with the feeling of having watched a deeply immersive film or read an engrossing novella.
Beth O’Brien weaves magic with her lyrical and evocative language, and with the tangibility of her characters’ unreliable voices, she reveals herself as a master storyteller.
Beth O’Brien is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Light Perception, was published by Wild Pressed Books in 2019, and her poetry was featured in the Black Pear Press anthology, Pressed Flowers. She is the Editor of Mad Hatter Reviews, a site that reviews books, e-books, theatre, music, and even the odd podcast.
She has had her poetry (and the odd short story) published in Foxglove Journal, Nine Muses Poetry, Dear Reader Poetry, BellaOnline Literary Review, Eunoia, Pulp Poets Press, Peculiars Press, Picaroon Press, and Bonnie’s Crew.
My Thoughts & Takeaways
I Left the Room Burning by Beth O’Brien is a captivating book of poetry.
I’ve always loved poetry but for so long I had neglected reading any. I’m glad I’ve gotten back into it in the past year or so and O’Brien’s writing is a clear example of why I’m so glad.
Poetry packs some big punches in small pieces and I Left the Room Burning is no different. While many books of poetry may have themes, I really enjoyed that O’Brien’s followed a plot and told a story along the way. While you could read the poems out of order just fine, you also can get the feel of a novella if you read them in order.
As someone who has been in abusive relationships, I was drawn towards the overall story of these poems. Additionally, there were many more heavy topics that O’Brien tackles such as fertility, domestic abuse, mental health, and so on.
I also thought the circus imagery was interesting and as someone who is vegan and a big advocate for animal rights, I appreciated the negative connotation of circuses.
You’ll be sad and lonely and heartbroken, but you’ll also laugh along the way too. I Left the Room Burning is evocative, captivating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. Highly recommend for poetry lovers and newbies alike.