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Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite
I have never read anything like Hard Candy/Pitch Roll Yaw: Caregiving, Mourning and Stage Light by Annie Lanzillotto. Hard Candy revolves around Lanzillotto’s relationship with her mother, Rachel. In this portion of the book, readers are given poems and prose through Lanzillotto’s perspective as she cares for Rachel in her last days and onward after Lanzillotto’s mother dies. Pitch Roll Yaw continues the theme of happiness, love, and grief, but the layout of Lanzillotto’s poems is more artful and untamed with words visually written as though they are sliding off the page and endlessly spiraling. She also talks about how ridiculous our healthcare system can be; she had to resort to lying just to get an extra battery for her mom’s portable oxygen concentrator.
“She’s a baby now at eighty-nine.” It never crossed my mind that our parents who take care of us could one day need us to care for them, but then I started reading Hard Candy and my mind was ripped open to the reality of our fragile mortality. Hard Candy/Pitch Roll Yaw is raw emotion beautifully translated through the words of Annie Lanzillotto. In Pitch Roll Yaw she writes, “How does time end? It doesn’t. We do. Songs do.” Lanzillotto’s words ring true, and the truth doesn’t need to be long or overly stretched out; it can be this blunt and still touch every part of your soul. I have so much more I wish to say about this book, but what I want to end on is this: Hard Candy/Pitch Roll Yaw is a powerful and compelling work of art that will make you think deeply about your time and about life.