By Linda Mata and Christiana Guarino
Amazon Digital Services, Inc., $3.99, 101 pages
Flower In Bloom by Linda Mata and Christina Guarino is a mother and daughter collection of writing. The writing is earnest, mature and lyrical, with topics ranging from God to African American history, to pregnancy to the Oregon Trail. Guarino is a teenager who writes poems and essays about things which she is passionate. Her mother, Linda Mata, has a solid collection within the book which gives readers a chance to travel from the Southwestern United States to Centralia, WA (a town on the Oregon Trail located between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR). Flower in Bloom includes a biography of George Washington, founder of Centralia, WA, in the middle of its pages.
Readers will enjoy the young talent of Guarino. It is clear that her prose and poetry will only improve as she continues to gain experience as a writer. Linda Mata’s pieces are fascinating, giving a poetic history of the Western United States through pointed poems about African American leaders. These interesting and detailed poems, although written and recorded within the pages of Flower in Bloom, have a quality to them reminiscent of song or oral tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next.
“Often I long to hear
Of the deeds and dedications
Of these courageous pioneers
Who in spite of bigotry
Nurtured their families
And boldly helped to found
Churches, schools, and small towns.”
Although the book is written by mother and daughter, the connection between the pieces ends there. Some readers may find it jarring to go from one style and subject matter to another so quickly within the short span of the slim volume’s pages. While many of the pieces stand alone, readers might be left with questions regarding the arrangement of material. Others may enjoy this proverbial volley between mother and daughter; the subjects of history and spirituality linked together through verse and the sheer joy of creativity. Overall, Flower in Bloom provides an inspiring glimpse into what is possible through collaboration and vision and it is clear that this project was a labor of love for both authors.
Reviewed by Giovanna Marcus