Next up in our Christmas gift guide is this dazzling debut by Ella Frears. Shine, Darling is a collection of wry, vivid poems whose power lies in their intimacy. It lives for the power-play of people, of the pull of the sea, the smoky air – ‘Stormy, sticky with flies’ – and tangled underbrush where the land ends. Her characters test each other, experimenting with the boundaries of physical violence, of punishment, of traps, all the while drawing the reader into a complicity that gives these poems all their daring, electrifying muscularity. In Shine, Darling, the desire to expose and disclose wrestles with defence and defiance. The result is exhilarating, a ‘glorious full-bodied’ debut collection with the draw of an adamant tide.
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