I am incredibly grateful to Matthew at Urbane Publications for a copy of Tess Rosa Ruiz’s ‘Freefall Into Us’ in return for an honest review. It was published on September 1st 2015.
I normally begin a blog post by setting the opening scene of a book but it is impossible to do so with ‘Feefall Into Us’ as it is a collection of poems and short stories that defy categorisation. The book actually opens with a drawing of a naked woman with a Picasso type face. The more I read, the more appropriate this image became. There is utter honesty in the writing in the same way a naked body can’t hide its secrets under clothes. Whilst the features are present on the face, they are fragmented in the same way life as it is described in ‘Freefall Into Us’ is also broken and shattered.
I was stunned by this book. The poetry is so simply written but is raw with emotion.That violent anger a loved one might feel as another dies from cancer, for example, thrums on the page. Not a word is wasted and not a word misses a beat in these incredible pieces. When you read the book, look out for the repetition of ‘Maybe’ in Put On Charlie Parker for example.
From the opening story the reader is aware that Tess Rosa Ruiz is no ordinary writer as the character Ruby describes her father at her own funeral. I intended to dip in to this book over several days, but wasn’t able to leave it alone, so strong is the emotional pull of the writing.
Tess Rosa Ruiz uses expletives liberally and usually I find this irritating with authors deliberately trying to shock. I did not feel this with these stories and poems. I simply understood the depth of feeling and the honesty of portrayal the writer provides.
Whilst some might feel offended by the strong language and the difficult themes of relationships, love, lust, prostitution, sexuality and death, I would defy any reader not to find an emotion or situation with which they can identify completely. Tess Rosa Ruiz knows exactly what it is to be human and to love and she know how to show the reader that humanity too. This is perfect writing.