Friday, April 9, 2010

Beside the Quiet Voices-

When Christine Robinson sent me this extremely generous gift of her book “Beside the Quiet Voices” in mail, with her very warming, heartfelt, handwritten words, I couldn't help thinking how geographical distances are meaningless when you wish to reach out and make a connection!
For the last few days I am sort of lost in the world beyond the boundaries and the so-called seven seas, in the world of a woman who fought alone, all her battles.

I  met Christine Robinson in cyberspace. And like so many of other wonderful, beautiful people whom I have met through Internet and have formed a special cerebral and even spiritual relationship with them; my connection with Christine is special too.
Did I just say relationship? Isn’t relationship something deeper with more definition and dimensions?
Well, what else could you call this bond where you relate to so many emotions and thoughts with all those who have reached out with their words, even though you have never met them in person? Isn’t this a kind of kinship/relationship-one that transcends the cultural and spatial barriers?
Isn't this how kindred souls meet?

Christine’s lovely book ‘Beside the Quiet Voices’ is also about relationships, in all its complexity and conjectures; notwithstanding the marvels. It is about the relationship we have with our dreams, illusions, pain, sadness and tiny, simple wonders that involve life. It is about the relationship we have with our own inner, deeper self and the one we form with others who come into our lives as a guide from beyond.
While reading this book you cannot help forming a quiet and tender bond with the voice of the book, where you feel connected with most of the feelings and thoughts the author elaborates upon.
It is hard not to be moved by the sheer simplicity and honesty of her voice. Christine writes with her heart. With  rare passion. Normally I would have used “raw passion” but Christine has mentioned in one of her essays that she hates the word ‘raw’.
In her own words, “Isn’t there another word for writing from one’s so called truthful place?” (Beside the quiet voices, 124)
Thus, I am substituting it with ‘rare’.

The book is basically a compilation of various thoughts, incidents, phases of life such as her fight with clinical depression, the aftermath of losing her brother and of all those perceptive poems written over the times.
It contains a plethora of experiences and exceptional insights, with all the drama and pathos of what life is made of.

Christine writes about the simple daily moments and her poignant experiences, with the same kind of intensity that one could expect from a writer who has the potential to write unapologetically about everything and anything.
There are some essays that would make you hold back the tears with great difficulty , bring about a lump that might stay stuck in your diaphragm for some time, especially the ones where she writes about her special bond with her brother Chuck and a dear friend John.
Some of the stories are written with a soft chuckle, a tongue in the cheek humor and innocent fun, along with the unshed tears that hover like a streak of red....on a twilight sky.

Beside the Quiet Voices is not a novel with a beginning, middle and end; or a piece of fiction with a plot and climax. Every essay and poem is a random climax in its own. Holding many evocative questions within; leaving behind wistful answers.
It is a brave account of a courageous woman who dealt with the inevitable blows of life without burying her head in the sand.

Beside the Quiet Voices by Christine Robinson is NOW AVAILABLE on


Pallav said...

I am eager to read this book now. Nice review as always :)

Nazia Mallick said...

Thanks Pallav, as always.

Maybe you could check Amazon.


Last night you wrote your sonnets in  Braille: the commas, parenthesis, ellipses engraved perfectly on my skin- and  I  ...