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Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
Mari Selby's collection, Lightning Strikes Twice, shouts from its pages in a clear and strong voice. The black ink speaks of her trials, that could easily be looked upon by the mind's eye instead as blood red font. Her cancer scarred and lightning struck body are ever-present and allow us a window into a world that most never see or feel first hand with their own body. As readers, we read and experience moments, but it is important to realize that those moments for us were years for the author. The collection is broken up into chapters, titled by the elements: water, fire, air, and earth. Each section brings in another layer of the author’s own sphere. Also, not to be left out, are the illustrations by artist Jennet Inglis that are placed within each chapter starting page, adding an extra depth.
There is a specific line that gives me an added heartbeat, “I check my lists of bruises.” Personally, I wouldn’t be able to see how anyone reading that could not get an empathetic chill or two traveling up their spine. One poem I cherished most was entrusted with the title of the book itself, “Lightning Strikes Twice.” The poem compares cancer and being hit by lightning to one another; the onslaught and devastation both have over one’s body and soul, and yet the creation that it also brings forth. Mari Selby's Lightning Strikes Twice is an intimate, spiritual, and scarred journey of words that you will want to have sitting on your shelf.