Book Review: “The Longest Night” by Ranata Suzuki

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s another poetry collection—specifically, “The Longest Night” by Ranata Suzuki!

A bit of background as of how I got this book: Early in July this year, the author herself contacted me via Tumblr IM and asked if I would like a free copy of her poetry collection in exchange for a review. I said yes, and approximately two weeks later, the book arrived at my doorstep! If the author herself is reading this right now, thank you so much for the book!

Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“A book for anyone who has found themselves separated from someone they love no matter the circumstance, The Longest Night is a companion for the broken heart on the painful emotional journey that is losing someone you love from your life. Its words serve as a comforting reminder, whether you are travelling this road or have recently completed this journey yourself, that despite the loneliness you may sometimes feel along the way none of us walk this path alone.”

What I really liked about this book was how it was organized. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. “The Longest Night” is split up into three sections—Sunset, Darkness and First Light. Sunset and First Light are much shorter compared to Darkness, which is the middle section of the book, but I think this thematically fits the overall theme of heartbreak, struggling with the conflicting, unhappy feelings of no longer being in a romantic relationship with your former significant other, and then eventually coming to terms with this loss. You get a sense of the length of grief just by how long the Darkness section is, and I think it makes a lot of sense that the Darkness section is so long overall.

Most if not all the poems are free verse, and I really enjoyed how the author made use of italics to emphasize certain words or phrases in some of the poems so that I’d pay more attention to them, particularly in the poems “Carpe Diem” (pg. 167) and “Tu Me Manques” (pg. 49). I also love the use of punctuation in the poems, such as “Meaningless Words” (pg. 73), because they created a space and hesitation between certain words that really make you pause and think about what the poems are about.

What I really noticed, in majority of the poems written, was that many of the lines in each poem were long in length, and did not have many shorter phrases. I think having a lot of the lines long made me think of the theme that many of the poems were categorized in—Darkness. The ‘darkness’ of this theme is the grief of the loss of the loved one due to no longer being in that close relationship with them, and so the length of the lines not just fit the themes and feelings expressed in each individual poem, but also the overall theme of the section they were in as well.

Overall, I’m rating this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I would definitely recommend reading this poetry collection.

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