The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur is a heart-wrenchingly cathartic and beautiful book about love and the journey of healing from it. Kaur explores the themes of trauma, loss, vulnerability, and self-love in simple, but unique prose pieces and thoughtful, evocative sketches. The book is divided into five sections- wilting, falling, rooting,rising, and blooming– comparing the progression of the book to the life cycle of a flower.
Her words are deeply intimate and often emotional; she delves into difficult themes- such as womanhood, self-hate, and abusive love- with grace and poise. The approach to poetry shown in this book is unique- Kaur doesn’t utilize flowery language or excessive adjectives to get her point across, but her work is deeply moving nonetheless.
I first came across Kaur’s work when I myself was at a vulnerable point in my life. Her writing spoke to me on not only an emotional, but a spiritual level- the anecdotal nature of each piece makes her feel like a friend or an aunt speaking to you directly, rather than an aloof author miles away. If you are looking for a helping hand or a listening ear, I could not recommend this book more.
Rupi Kaur has also written Milk and Honey, and her new book, Home Body, is set to be released on November 17th, 2020.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman is about 17-year old Rumi Seto who is trying to navigate her life after her younger sister, Lea, dies in a tragic accident. Rumi and her Mom were in the car too, but they were fortunate enough to survive. Struck dumbfounded by this, Rumi’s Mom sends her to Hawaii to live with her aunt. This is difficult for Rumi because she was so used to having her sister by her side, and being apart from her Mother while grieving causes her to feel lots of angst. In addition to mourning the lost of her sister, Rumi feels abandoned by her Mother.
In Hawaii, her two closes allies happened to be both her neighbors: Kai, the boy of her age who enjoys surfing immensely and is very optimistic, and Mr. George Watanabe, an eighty-year-old man who has been dealing with his own demons. With Lea, Rumi would spend all her time writing and creating music. Music kept them grounded and connected; with Lea gone, music is difficult for Rumi. In Hawaii, Rumi connects back to music slowly, which ultimately takes her to connecting with Lea.
Even though this book seemed too thick initially, every page is its own painting of emotion. Bowman’s ability to pack so much emotion and feeling is incredulous. It is difficult to write about or express the grieving process, but the way Rumi is portrayed and written about, one can relate to her loss and the extent to what she is facing. In one word, the book can be described as raw. I would recommend this for anybody who is willing to invest themselves and their feelings into a story.