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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
After the death of her mother and grandmother, seventeen-year-old Esme lives with her foster family. Her life, however, takes a turn for the worse when her foster sister, Cambria, who is only a year older than her, is raped, and, after the detective asks if it was her fault, she stops talking. Shortly thereafter, Esme is raped, too, and she does not say anything about it. Meanwhile, she learns that her foster sister is pregnant, but after the baby, who is called Ariel, is born, Cambria takes her own life. Esme, meanwhile, begins her search for the serial rapist, but will she be able to find him? Angela Ellen Grey tells us about it with her verses in Beating Drum of a Broken Heart.
Beating Drum of a Broken Heart is outstanding poetry. I had never read a novel in verse, but I found it an original way of telling this story. It is also the most appropriate way, considering the issues that Angela Ellen Grey addresses. What better genre than this could highlight such intense feelings and such terrible situations? I also appreciated the attention to the layout, which is also unique. I do not think this is for the faint of heart, but I believe anyone who reads it will be struck by this story and its characters and will reflect on the topics. The one that impressed me most was Cambria with her mutism. This story will stay with you for a long time, and it deserves to.