Book - Bewitched

Bewitched

Susan Omand takes a look at the work of poet Kate Garrett with her solo book Bewitched...

Some sounds have to be heard.

Some love triangles become squares.

Some girls believe in magic.


BEWITCHED is an anti-romance tale of tangled hearts (and other parts) told through poetry and flash fiction; a spell cast with a pinch of grit and a splash of rock n roll.

Pagan magic, poetic writing and deliberately anti-romantic rock and roll sounded right up my street, so I had high hopes for this little book from poet (and Twitter friend) Kate Garrett. Written as one of the Pankhearst Singles Club, the idea from the Pankhearst Writers Collective being to publish one Kindle 'single' a month then produce a couple of compilation albums at the end of the year, this book tells the story of Maddie and Dalton, two creative 20-somethings who head off to the south coast to start a new life outside of London. However Maddie finds out that Dalton has been there before, has unfinished history there, before discovering her own future path lies with an unexpected mate, all set against a background of magic, music and Moll Flanders.

The book unfolds in a series of chapters or sections of poetry and short flash-fiction prose, each of which adds a new layer to the story and depth to the lives of the characters involved. This is not a dip-into book like most poetry books, you have to follow the story through from start to finish to get the full picture and I really think it benefits from this, adding a richness that is otherwise lost to a casual reader. It's also a story told from a variety of viewpoints, with different voices taking on different sections, and it's not always clear at the start of a section which character is "speaking," however this does not detract much from the story itself as the separate threads of the tapestry weave together nicely by the end.

Kate's poetry is beautiful. She has a good eye for words, rhyme and rhythm (rhyming Niamh and sleeve was a particular favourite) and her poems are made to be read aloud, as all good poems should be. I must admit I enjoyed the poetry sections a lot more than the less engaging (for me) flash-fiction and think the story could have worked just as well, if not better, to have been all done as pure poetry, although maybe it would have seemed less "accessible" to the target audience of young adults so I can understand the mix.

This is Kate's first foray into solo published work, although her writing has appeared in several anthologies and magazines before now and, for a first attempt at a larger work, it is very good. I look forward to watching her spread her wings and continue to grow as a poet now she has taken these first steps.

Image - Amazon.