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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Phantom Limbs is a work of collected poetry across themes of trauma, grief, mortality, and overcoming. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to its serious and bold subject matter. Penned by author Deirdre Fagan, this poignant collection navigates the spectrum of human experience from childhood to marriage, divorce, caregiving, and mortality. Fagan's poems are a delicate balance of celebration and elegy, capturing the essence of living despite profound loss. The verses explore the intricacies of survival, revealing moments of unanticipated joy intertwined with heartbreak.
Author Deirdre Fagan adeptly addresses various facets of life, embracing the unpredictability of birth and the inevitability of endings with a provocative, startling, and inspiring level of honesty and bravery. Reading this collection is an emotional journey, as each poem resonates with the universal themes of love, grief, and resilience, and every well-penned verse, grounded in personal encounters, serves as a reminder that even in the face of loss, there is beauty and wisdom to be found. There will be something for everyone in this varied collection. I found that “Call Me Charon” spoke to me, particularly for its intricate storytelling that teeters gently between poetry and prose. I also really enjoyed the bittersweet emotional impact of “Ordinary Sounds”, which really seemed to come alive in the room as I was reading it. Fagan's exploration of mortality and the cyclical nature of existence leaves a lasting impression, offering readers a contemplative space to reflect on their own journeys through joy and sorrow. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Phantom Limbs to anyone wishing to explore these complex feelings through the medium of a highly accomplished collection of poetic works.