Cover Image: No Matter How Dark the Stain

No Matter How Dark the Stain

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Member Reviews

Umm...I don't want to write a negative review so I will leave saying that this book wasn't what I expected it to be. 

Arc providing by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley. 😊🙏🏾
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No Matter How Dark the Stain
Poems and Inspiration for the Woman in Pain
by Andrea L. Wehlann
Pub Date 31 May 2021 
 Health, Mind & Body  |  Poetry 

I am reviewing a copy of No Matter How Dark the StIn through BooksGoSocial:

In No Matter How Dark the Stain the reader is reminded  that healing can take place in an instant , that we as the readers are not defined by what happened to us, but whether we are defined by what we are doing in this moment.

No Matter How Dark the Stain reminds the reader of the innocence of the heart and child within us all.   It is essentially a collection of love poems for anxious people, it meets people in their darkest space and gives a breath of life to the pain and feelings that haunt us and keep bad patterns recurring. This book offers light, it sends love and comfort, affirmations, and strength to keep pushing through pain and through that door, which is within, revealing the love and light of awareness and expanding the mind and heart to new possibilities beyond the painful experiences.

In the poems in this collection you will find a light shined on darkness that invokes  us to rising closer to our full, loving nature and potential.

This collection is broken down into three sections:

One of which is Poems of love, innocence, and poems of hope from the time before loss, grief, and trauma.

The second of which is Grieving poems for the loss of a child, and poetry about abuse and trauma.

As well as poems of getting over grief, healing poems, poems of hope and gratitude, poems of love, especially self-love.

If you’re looking for a powerful and enlightening collection of poetry I highly recommend No Matter How Dark the Stain!

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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I really like the front cover and I really enjoyed the poetry . I thought the words where beautiful and my favourite was the briefly beauty about the rainbow it was lovely. I could really picture what the author was saying in my mind. I feel like this poems are very spiritual. I will definitely keep coming back to this book.
Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this book.
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I really wanted to like this book as the premise seemed great however the selection of poems seemed like random words strung together and were quite 'self help' affirmations style which wasn't to my taste.

Poetry is subjective and unfortunately this wasn't the style I enjoyed but im sure others will. 

Thank you for the advanced reader copy.
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The synopsis of this poetry anthology No Matter How Dark the Stain by Andrea L. Wehlann
caught my eye, with the subject matter and structure of the book of particular interest

Poetry isn't my first choices in reading, but I enjoy the genre and usually understand what I'm reading including subtext and nuance. Suffice to say, I'm no expert, couldn't detail the technicalities, but I generally 'get' what is being conveyed.

I found No Matter How Dark the Stain to be quite different to what I expected. It was less like poetry and more like a stream of consciousness separated into various topics. It was fleeting thoughts, almost like diary entries of a stranger you had no common interests with . Regardless, some entries I appreciated more that others, some did not resonate at all, while others left me questioning what I had read. 

Personally one of my issues with this book is on how it should be read.  There are too many poems and reading them back to back is not the way, even over the course of several weeks.  However, there isn't a detailed enough guide for you to dip into the book and pick out the mood that you want to dwell in. 

In conclusion, I found that there wasn't any standout terms, imagery or resultant emotions. It didn't evoke a depth of feeling which I anticipated given the subject matter or the hope and healing indicated. I left each poem with a sense of experiencing... not much, not even disappointment.
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Trigger Warning: Rape. This review also mentions rape

This book has three parts: 1. Life before the trauma, 2. Trauma, 3. Surviving after trauma. The poems are mostly about God, finding yourself, and loving someone. In part 2, the poems are mostly about rape and non-consent relations. Every poem in this book has a doodle, which is a nice touch. 

I liked the subject and the structure of the first part. I saved most of the poems to check out for later from here. However; I probably use them as Instagram captions or  WhatsApp status. As the book got darker, the quality of the poems declined. They started to feel like 'Twitter poetry', something can be hung on walls like 'live love laugh'. Or a song might be written by them only to stop listening in a few days. 

In the second section, the poet chooses to write about rape. In some poems, I felt disturbance but not because the poet was wanting me to due to rape being something disgusting. I felt it because the language used was walking on a tightrope, about to fall. 
I actually wanted to DNF this book after this part but I've kept reading because I thought it might get better. Spoiler alert: It did not. 

In the third part, I was not paying a lot of attention to poems because they were mostly fillers that had no rhymes or structure. I know the style poet choose to write has no structure but even no structure has a structure. These poems were trying so hard to be a part of a self-help book and they actually achieved this. Some of them are just quotes taken directly from self-help books or the self-help section of Pinterest. 

I wish the book was supposed to be shorter so the poet could pick their best poems to fill it in. The amount of fillers used in this book has increased its value in addition to missing the target audience. This book is not feeling feminist. It's full of what my yoga instructor would say during meditation. (Learning that the poet is also a yoga instructor, made sense.)

I would not recommend this book.
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What's up with all the two-star reviews of this book? I'm no expert at judging poetry, and I may concede that yes, these poems might benefit from a bit more tinkering and polishing, but I know emotions, and Andrea L. Wehlann expresses them vividly. Were some readers expecting a self-help book full of advice and coping mechanisms? For me, it is enough to know that we are not alone. Others have felt the same pain, blame, even self-loathing, but more importantly, some, like Wehlann, have OVERCOME the pain. The book is in three parts for a reason. The third part is more than a compilation of words we see on plaques and memes, exhorting us to live, love, breathe, and just be. The spirit of victory prevails. Instead of thinking "cliche," I lean toward "universal." We need these reminders. No matter what form of abuse, debasement, or ridicule one may have endured since childhood, nor to what degree this violation may have descended, we all need the "buzz words" - we all need to be reminded, daily, of our own capacity to survive. Be resilient. *Illegitmi non carborundum* - a mock-Latin aphorism, often translated as "Don't let the b^stards grind you down". - is my take away from this book. That, and "We can overcome." Whatever loss, anguish, or violation of our bodies and souls, we have the capacity to live again, really live, not just exist, not just hide in some shell trying to block the pain.

As the Amazon author bio tells us, this poet struggled with  "childhood, mental, physical, and emotional abuse, surviving rape and sexual assault, miscarriages and infant loss, personal experiences make her an effective healer today. The gift she strives to share with others is that she sees the world as a whole and that we are all equal parts of that whole."

Mission accomplished! I have bought this book as a gift for a friend who, I hope, will internalize Wehlann's message of hope and healing.
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I will start by saying that the cover of this book is beautiful, as is the description. I appreciate the struggles that this author has endured and applaud them for being open and vulnerable.

I really didn't want to give this book a poor review because I understand that a lot about poetry is subjective, but I feel like the description is very misleading about the content of this book. This is supposed to be a book about coping, healing, and potential, but most of it seems to be haphazardly written or nonsensical.

One example:
"i don't have tools
don't know if I'd come back
you don't know
you're a rockstar"


"when I've welded holy grass
to mountaintops of polished brass
left the burn to sweetly rage
upon the palace's tinted cage."

I have no idea what either of these mean. Honestly, I didn't know what at least half of the book meant, and I generally really love poetry.

Then there are the parts where it feels like she just took a thesaurus or a self-help book full of mantras, threw them all in a pot and stuck them on paper as she pulled them out. 

stay strong
live in the moment
never give up
ignore drugs
honour temptation
be thankful
be humble
take a chance"

It's like Dove chocolate wrappers in book form.

I'm sure these poems mean a lot to the author, and that is great, but it missed the mark for me. I feel like these poems serve better as someone's personal diary or journal rather than something to be mass marketed because they are either much too vague or lack depth. Overall, it just missed the mark and I ended up feeling misled by the description.
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I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2 / 5 Stars.

In theorie, I should fall right into the target audience for this book.
I'm a feminist, I'm female and I've had mental health problems that I don't really wanna discuss in a public review.
The point in me telling you this is, that I don't feel like this book is hitting the mark. It's trying real hard to inspire but I don't think it's succeding. 
I got a feeling that I would end up not enjoying this, after opening one of the very first pages, because in the introduction, it says the following:

We are not [...] depressed, drunk, addicted, [...] or abused. We are love.

Look, I don't wanna tell you how to inspire me, but I can assure you, that this isn't making me feel better. What the book should have said, is We're not JUST or we're MORE THAN. But it didn't and now it reads really weird.

The message a lot of the collection's poems seem to go for is, that love can heal your wounds. Which is - and I'm sorry to say that - not ture. Love can not heal depression and it can't heal addiciton. No matter which love you're talking about. Claiming that it can is putting a lot of pressure on your loved ones. It can help, - sure - but it can't heal.

In regards to that, a lot of the poems seemed to miss a certain depth. Some do have it. Some know how to use language and letters and make you feel stuff. But a lot of them don't.

This is just personal taste, but I also didn't really enjoy the way the poems were structured. They rhyme, but they don't flow. They feel clipped, which can be a nice effect, if it wasn't the whole poem that was written that way.

The cover is absolutly stunning, which is the best I can say about this collection.
Because it sadly didn't manage to win me over.
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I used to write poetry oh years ago now, especially when I was in school. Then later when the kids were younger.
It’s been a time since I’ve read poetry and saw this book thinking it would be inspiring.

Personal thoughts were that I struggled with it at the beginning the verses seemed to me to be quite unhappy trauma verses filled with pain, lost loves, daily anguish.

Towards the ending it seemed to uplift but it was too late for me by then, I think I was ready to have a lie down to recover.

Maybe it’s me? Maybe it’s too above the cells of my little grey matter to penetrate.
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