Review of For You, Rowena (Kindra M. Austin) – Kristiana Reed

Whisper and the Roar

For You Rowena

Austin made a gorgeous debut with Magpie in August so when asked to read and review For You, Rowena I was filled with excitement and trepidation. I imagine Austin is too, as her second novel releases, a dark departure from her first.

There is little I can say which won’t spoil the narrative of this 194-page thriller and that is what makes it such a glorious read. It is the kind of book I want to watch somebody else read. I want to watch another experience goosebumps like I did and fall down Austin’s rabbit hole of deadly love and lust.

Despite being her second novel, Austin continues to prove she is a master of her craft. She twists characters and narratives like locks of hair and runs them like ribbon through her hands; her writer’s hands which know exactly when to make you smile or when to drop your…

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Matthew Eayre/Uneven Streets Studio


I want to tell the whole story,
As I remember.
I want to hang the shit-stained sheets on the line, grab a bullhorn and start broadcasting every single thing that has lived in my mind for these
forty years, six months and ten days.
I want to publicly humiliate and crucify all those who have left evidence in my memory, I want to trample the image of some
who are thought flawless.

But, sometimes, I just want to let it go

And all of the time, I wish I had no tale to tell.

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A Recovery Letter

My Screaming Twenties

Dear You,

I am writing this for the both of us. Not because I am not yet on the other side of the darkness but because there is no other side or quick fix. Your recovery is a journey. The light we look for; for clarity, purpose and lost motivation is not switch operated. Think of it more as a candle to maintain. Sometimes the wick is just smoking, burnt out. Sometimes it gutters in the wind and sometimes it burns full bodied and strong, for hours and days. In whatever state, the hard work does not end. Nor should it, we are worth it. It is the easiest and hardest choice to stay in bed all day or isolated in some way. It is just as easy and hard to say the words ‘I will be okay.’ Just as easy and hard as taking deep breaths or being honest…

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