Updated: Nov 9, 2020
It is impossible to talk about Wild Embers without using the word feminist. Like so many books that have come out in the past few years, Wild Embers is an unapologetic fountain of empowerment for women.
Yet, Wild Embers is not a novel, it's a collection of poetry. Have I lost your interest? I hope not. I'm aware I am one of the fewer people who read poetry for pleasure, but I promise you, this is modern poetry. It's all short, some are more like micro-stories and thoughts and there's no old English or unnecessarily grandiose prose.
Despite the writing style being very down to earth, there's a spiritual, almost witchy, vibe which immediately serves up the soul of women as unique and divine. Celebrating both the wildness and vulnerability of female energy. Although, it's important to note, whilst some poems are directed to women, there are many that are relevant for all genders.
Gill's rewriting of classic fairytale princess stories is particularly powerful. She encourages us to tell Sleeping Beauty, not as the tale of a beautiful woman who was rescued by a Prince's kiss and instead asks us to pose the question of consent. Let's teach our little girls that the prince had no write to kiss the lady, without her permission or even participation, just because he thought she was beautiful. Gill also explores living with mental health, overcoming abusive relationships and a great many more themes of self-worth and positive ideals and idols.
Wild Embers is one of those books that will remain forever on my bookshelf for me to dip into when a few drops of soul-shaking reality are required. Although Gill references myths, the cosmos and spirituality repeatedly in her poetry, this is a book based in truth. In exposing a true sense of self and mastering the arts of living at peace within it.
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