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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Jennifer Sara Widelitz begins Battle Cry with glimpses into her childhood and sibling relationships. She continues by describing her feelings about her autoimmune diagnosis and the places she explored in her travels. Daily cycles and nature are examined, giving human-like qualities to celestial objects, and characterizing her illness in relatable terms.
The poetry was enjoyable and evoked emotions of sadness, loss, peace, hope, and reflection. The illustrations seem simplistic, but they reveal a meaningful visual representation of the text. Widelitz turned the words of her diagnosis into an acronym that reflected her feelings on the illness, and I was intrigued by her thought-provoking association. The poems were well-written, using deep imagery and personification. Most of the poems appeared to be in free form, but a Haiku and reverse poem surfaced in the pages, showing versatility in style. I liked the reference she made to trees, and I agreed with her observations on them.
I saw pieces of the author within her poems as if she were telling a story, and it seemed as if writing the verses was cathartic for her. Her inward and outward journeys were outlined by observations of the differences in her mindset, and her words and reflections made me appreciate the world in which I live and challenged me to see it in a new way. I'd recommend the book to anyone who has felt betrayed by either their body or those around them and is determined to rise above adversity. For those who suffer similar trials, Battle Cry by Jennifer Sara Widelitz could be validating.