Cynthia Harrison's Reviews > Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe

Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe by Linda C. Anger
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it was amazing

Linda Anger’s collection of poems and stories is unique in that the two forms have one central concern: the lives of women, particularly their inner lives. Each of us consists of many parts; Anger limns several of these aspects of the female personality and modern dilemma. In the poem “Space Between Now and Then” for example, the persona recognizes a moment when everything formerly believed proves useless, even false. This is hard-won insight, but even in such moments of enormous change, there is a grace that settles around a soul that has shattered as it quietly remakes itself.

Some of these poems and stories have language so gripping, words and ideas so remarkable, that the reader can rest in their comfort even as the tension of the piece moves through them, like the “gypsy squatters” who look upon “life as prayers.” Then there is “The Afterlife of Roses” a story with its clarion call to handing down female wisdom. Not all of the pieces are serious business: wit and whimsy also appear in “House Call” and “The Gypsy Theater” with its refrain of “I’ve never lived an ordinary life.”

Those these pieces concern the lives of women, friendship, men and sex are these women’s absorptions, as we hear in poems like “Little Boys in Old Men’s Bodies.” The stories and poems have a nice weave, a rounding off of topics, in their structure as a whole. The collection ends on a high note that encompasses an entire life, in all its themes. “Cindy Now and Then” recalls a “white trash girl” a friend of the narrator, someone very like a person most of us have known, or known of, who comes to a predictable end, one its easy to see she never had a chance of escaping, like a mirror held up to all broken dreams. Or so we think, until the irresistible turn that moves the story at a new pace, jumping time and setting, adding action, character and mystery. Part bright fantasy, with splashes of terror and the possibility of freedom for Cindy, the girl who never had a chance but made one for herself out of air and sheer determination. Is this a caper or a cautionary tale? I’d say in Anger’s capable hands, it is both, and more.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 15, 2015 – Shelved

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