Saturday, January 17, 2015
Kiss of Broken Glass, by Madeleine Kuderick
Telling the story in verse is a bit dangerous as it tends to invite poignant but ultimately shallow platitudes with implied ellipses. However, some people (including Kuderick's mentor Sonya Sones) can pull it off. I give Kuderick a passing grade for being both moderate and inventive. She avoids some of the easy cheap tricks and at the same time shows some creativity in her verses. When individual verses stand up on their own (as they sometimes do here), you know you have something.
I'll also admit that Kuderick's admission that this novel was inspired (although not entirely based) on her real daughter's struggle with self-harm gives this effort a pathos and bravery that would paint me a heartless person for criticizing. However, I thankfully don't have to hide a frank review of what is ultimately an effective work. Books about cutting are pretty easy to find. This is one of the more interesting ones.