Review: To Drink Coffee with a Ghost | Amanda Lovelace (ARC)

This review is spoiler free.

“You cannot
have a funeral
for your mother
without also
having a funeral
for yourself.
– it’s time to begin the procession.

Series: things that h(a)unt
Published: 2019, by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Pages: 160
Format: Hardback
Genre: Poetry, Nonfiction, Health, Mental Health, Adult, Feminism, Contemporary
Contains: Child Abuse, Eating Disorders, Strong Language, Sexual Assault, Self-Harm, Violence, Anger, Cheating, Death, Blood/Gore, Trauma, Grief

‘To Drink Coffee with a Ghost’ is the second instalment of the duology things that h(a)unt, exploring the ever-lingering question: What happens when someone dies before they’re able to redeem themselves? In this second collection, Lovelace unravels the memory of the complicated relationship she had with her now-deceased mother.

This book has been on my shelf since it’s release in 2019, having initially requested it from Netgalley, however, there were complications in accessing the title, meaning I wasn’t able to review it in time for its publication. However, since then I’ve managed to get my hands on a physical copy, and I’m so glad that I finally managed to pick it up and explore the difficult themes within.

For people who aren’t relatively new to this blog, it probably isn’t a surprise that I’m reading one of Amanda Lovelace’s collections, them being one of my all-time favourite poets and I’m forever delving into Lovelace’s works. ‘To Drink Coffee with a Ghost’ is no exception to this, exploring possibly the darkest themes since the release of the initial collection.
‘To Drink Coffee with a Ghost’ explores the themes of a deceased loved one, one who you had a complicated relationship in such a relatable way, with gorgeous symbolism and elegant imagery. The words within are empowering and thought-provoking, explores the themes of death, and abuse, and trauma in such a way that makes it hard-hitting but also digestible. You feel safe whilst reading, because you know that Lovelace is there to show you that your emotions are valid and understandable. You don’t feel alone when you’re reading the words of Amanda Lovelace, and that’s why I adore this novel so much.

Overall, I adored this book. It was classic Amanda Lovelace, with its themes of empowerment and overcoming boundaries, and I loved every moment within its pages. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be reading more in the future.


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