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Lot of My Sister
by Alison Stine

Category: Fiction / General
25 pages; ISBN: 0-87338-705-8

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Carolyn Howard-Johnson



A Quiet Book
For Quiet Moments

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
Author of "This is the Place"

I remember little treasure chest books from my childhood. The very name of the series conjured up the delights one might find inside. The covers were shiny and new and smooth and were a metaphor for the gift of reading. The size indicated that it would not take long to find the jewels within. Alison Stine's "Lot Of My Sister," published by Kent State University Press, is much the same sort of book.
A slender chapbook, it is clothed in a cover that is a delight to touch and not so brilliantly colored that one will expect exlosions within its covers. This is a book of poetry, after all, and one comes to it expecting a different kind of experience.
By any standard, this is a lovely book of poetry but it most touching when Stine describes the special sounds of being deaf. When she touches on this aspect of her own life, the poems become close and personal. As she says, they "come back to me as music."

Consider this:

From "Blood Music:"
"my ear hammer beating, dull and tuneless
at the velvet-shoed end of a broken piano
key, still pounding, intent, as though it
makes a difference."

From "Vincent's Ear:"
"I felt Van Gogh and I were soul mates.
I would have given him my good ear."

From "Fields Beyond Fields:"
" hand memorized
the closed mouths of lockers..."

This slim volume is also full of moments when we share other bits of humanity with the author:

"...the swallow of our morning cups."

and the image of a cancer survivor:

"eyelashes like tea leaves
in her morning cup?"

"Lot Of My Sister" is a little book that offers twenty-five pages for twenty-five moments of respite--moments that anyone can work into their schedule and so enrich their lives.

(Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a freelance writer based in California. Her novel,
This is the Place won the Reviewers' Choice Award. Marilyn Ross, author, speaker and publishing consultant says:
" Howard-Johnson's lyrical prose
graces every page."
Find out more at


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