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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Love in Asia by Nina Kedar is an achingly beautiful series of poetic reflections upon romantic love, played out against the lush backdrop of tropical India and remembered in a series of haunting visions which will captivate the imagination of all who appreciate romance in its purest form. Although the romantic love which is the focal point of this sublime collection seems to have been long lost, it is remembered and treasured in a halcyon reverie which makes the reader feel a vicarious blush of hope. From “Tears of Love”: The tears that you shed as you watched me sleep/Came from happiness, rising sheer/Like the joy of thunder trembling in a drought's river bed.
There is a distinct aura of the divine in Nina Kedar’s unapologetically romantic voice; the gentility of her sweeping impressionistic narrative provides a poignant, transformative contrast to the immutability of Fate as reflected in her ever-present physical longing for that which has been lost. In “Crossroads,” she speaks of the real pain underpinning even the most perfect romance: No one warned me of this disease that devours the heart/Makes one lose hunger and sleep/Makes one burn brightly with the flame of love/And wither with longing.
Ultimately, however, Love in Asia by Nina Kedar offers poetry lovers a series of intimate glimpses of the redemptive power of romantic love and a cathartic vision of spiritual triumph in the wake of loss. This dynamic is perhaps best expressed in “Night canvas”: They taught me that/Divinity is the most beautiful thing a person knows/Heaven is their purest form of love/Beauty is that which uplifts and inspires. There can be no doubt that Nina Kedar’s Love in Asia is intended to uplift and inspire and that it succeeds brilliantly in doing so.