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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
A Life Cycle: A Guide to Healing and Rediscovering Yourself by Nicole Asherah is a thoughtful, resonant collection of poems that searches the human soul to uncover depths of trauma and instill a sense of hope. The collection follows the process of renewal from an old self to a new version and offers guidance throughout the process of transformation. In the first part of the collection, the poems explore a person’s identity and the struggle to be seen and understood. They express a longing for peace, silence, and contentment. The collection moves to a deeper expression of the effects of trauma that emerge from a devastating experience involving sexual assault. The verses that follow are raw and they portray the extent of the abuse on the narrator and how the experience impacts them. Still, the collection is hopeful, containing themes about finding strength and happiness.
A Life Cycle by Nicole Asherah is bold in its confrontation of sexual assault and other traumatic events. It also courageously reveals the innermost emotions that plague the soul. Striking metaphors such as one that compares the deepening of strength in the face of trauma to a resilient blossom that withstands the strong gust of a relentless wind paint vibrant images of the events covered by the poems. The collection is arranged in a seamless order that begins with poems that express unspeakable pain from tragic past experiences and later includes poems that explore the process of renewal and healing. I found comfort in the poems' uplifting outlook toward the end and the collection’s emphasis on authenticity and freedom. A Life Cycle is a powerful collection told in an original voice. Its verses show that strength can still be present even when dealing with traumatic events and are necessary and comforting.