Review: The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward

Trigger warnings for sexual assault, drug and alcohol addiction, and domestic and physical abuse

“They are not ours, the stars/and have never been.”

Anna: Let me just say that when I bought this in the $1 section of Strand, I didn’t know that it was a memoir told through poetry. I am not a huge fan of poetry, but The Terrible blew me away. Most of it is told through narrative style poems, which helped make it less scary for newbies like me. But there were some really beautiful poems in here that were much more experimental in form than I was not expecting to enjoy. 

Yrsa grew up with her ultra religious grandparents in Northwest England. We follow Yrsa’s childhood, her troubled relationship with her mother, her love for little brother, and her journey into adulthood and ultimately finding herself as a poet and a person. Be warned–this is extremely dark and in some ways is largely the story of Yrs’s struggle with drug addiction. I could not stop reading and flew through it. I especially loved her relationship with her little brother. My only complaint is that I think the final poem tied everything together a little too nicely.

Maybe I’ll read more poetry now?

VERDICT: 4 out of 5 books

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