Book Review: the sun and her flowers

I had this review scheduled to post tomorrow but I’m moving it forward because tomorrow I will be writing and sharing another book review and I promise it’ll be a good one!

the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

the sun and her flowers is the second book by rupi kaur, following her 2015 debut milk and honey. [The absence of capitals pays reference to the book itself which is written entirely in lowercase text]

I asked for this book as a birthday present having flicked through it in Waterstones book store. I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to look at the success of Ms. Kaur and emulate it with my own writing.

Physically it’s a lovely book; the cover is visually simple yet appealing and the writing sprinkled with hand drawn illustrations.

There are five chapters wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming, linking to the flower theme and giving an idea of cycles of growth and renewal. The poetry focuses on themes of grief, self-abandonment, honouring one’s roots, love and empowering oneself. The illustrations were sweet and fitted with the text.

the sun and her flowers contains some truly beautiful and profound vignettes, it follows a storyline of loss and grief through growth and acceptance to embracing yourself as a uniquely wonderful and worthwhile person.  Doesn’t that sound incredibly inspirational?  There is variety in the writing as short inciteful prose mixes in with longer verse.

However, I felt the book didn’t meet my expectations.  I expected page after page of inspirational and uplifting writing that would have a broad appeal.  I didn’t get a sense that it was written with passion, it felt subdued and lacking in emotion.  There was a strong cultural basis to the writing which as a white British reader I couldn’t really connect with.

My opinions are divided on this book, but as a book marketed as ‘The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller’ I expected more. That said poetry does not appeal to all people equally, in the same way that visual art or music doesn’t.

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