Journey into the Shadow and the Sunshine

Poetry - Inspirational
110 Pages
Reviewed on 01/04/2022
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Author Biography

Annabel Harz uses writing and drawing as tools for healing. Through this creative process she connects with her soul, ensuring that her past depression doesn’t dominate her life in the present. Her first book, Journey into the Dark and the Light, depicts her journey to wellbeing from a place of deep sadness.

Annabel has taught students from four to eighty-four years old, around Australia and overseas. She is a more compassionate teacher for having experienced the events that fill these pages.

She lives in central Victoria where the magnificence of the Australian bush on her doorstep nurtures her spirit on a daily basis.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

Journey into the Shadow and the Sunshine by Annabel Harz is a collection of emotion-steeped poetry and artistic creations formed by the artist herself. The assemblage is psychologically imprinted with Harz’s own soul and mind. Reading through the pages is as though you are seeing her “fingerprints” or “soulprints” everywhere. She indelibly leaves her mark on the reader, as if transferring her pain from her body into ours in such a way that leaves you in a solely empathetic state. Harz brings your past pain up to the surface to join her own in an intertwining dancing effect. You don’t come away depressed after reading her work but recharged, with the realization that you are not on your own, but that your pain is shared and universal.

Annabel Harz’s Journey into the Shadow and the Sunshine hits you squarely in the solar plexus. She doesn’t hide in her pain or truth but exposes it to the light and “sunshine” and it clearly speaks through her poetry and her colorful artistic creations dispersed in the collection. While her poetry is straight upfront, her artwork is mysterious at times, as many artists’ creations can be. But the wonder and curiosity that emanates after looking at her pieces only add to the collection itself. What is represented by this hand, and what do these shapes represent? It’s all a mystery that your brain excitedly tries to demystify for itself, and when it is unable to, there is no frustration, but simply appreciation.

Clarissa Pattern

This is a beautiful and inspiring collection of poetry and art. I read it as an ebook, but now have a physical copy on my to-buy list. The pictures and images complement and elevate each other, making me re-read the poems several times after gazing at the artwork. The personal nature of this book is what paradoxically makes it so universal. By bravely baring her pain and her fears, Annabel Harz makes her work connect with the reader’s own experiences.
The title is very apt, this is a journey through life and the array of emotions we feel. The book begins with the brutal uncertainty of:
‘It occurs to me in a blinding flash, as your fist speeds towards me and
I cower on the floor, that my waking life is as unreal as my dreams.’
But ends with the positive affirmation of ‘I am’. There are some truly touching love poems included in this collection that are a reminder that however bleak some parts of our life can be, there’s always hope that if we hold on, joyful experiences await us. As a whole the book is a testament to creative expression, and how through art we have both an emotional release and the most powerful form of communication.