Forum / Review of Nonnie's book

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    Mathew Paust
    Sep 13, 09:21pm

    TO SEE WHO'S THERE – Nonnie Augustine

    Wrapped in lyrics saucy, stunning and sweet, Nonnie Augustine's dancing words carry us back through the decades and centuries meeting ancestors good, bad, loving, tragic, lucky, lost, and all of them alive and vivid on the pages of her new book of poems and short prose To See Who's There.

    The earliest, Nonnie's "27th great-grandparents" were Judith and Waltheof "the [rebellious] last Saxon earl." Judith betrayed Waltheof to her uncle, William the Conqueror, to save the lives of their children from William's wrath. She and their three small children watch from the stands as Waltheus's severed head continues reciting the Lord's Prayer as it rolls from the executioner's axe.

    Nonnie admits to a certain amount of imaginative poetic license in bringing these ancestors, and others of similar backgrounds, to life. She found a young boy in Liverpool's 1851 census listed simply as "Thirteen years old, Irish. Occupation: beggar." She promises to "do more for him." Her poem gives him a name, James, and a brother, Martin. Their story warmed my heart.

    Woven throughout her tributes to people long, long dead, are glimpses of her life in New York City, studying ballet at Julliard and learning the rules of life and love. She minces no words leading us across the stumbles and rough patches, though we’re soon aware of the strong heritage, the genes that keep her standing, nay, dancing. As a grand finale she brings them all together. Reunioned in heaven, they rejoice as “Madeleine” entertains them at the piano. Hundreds are missing, those who have more lives to live. Alice (the poisoner) and King Gilbert (the torturer) are among those not yet permitted to join the family’s final nap.

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    Dianne McKnight-Warren
    Sep 21, 12:12am

    I have it and will read it soon! Congratulations, Nonnie!

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    Nonnie Augustine
    Sep 22, 05:38pm

    Thank you, Matt! I didn't know you posted this here. This is such a generous review. I just reread it and I'm sure I'd look silly if anyone but the cat sitting behind my computer saw me smiling this way. And thank you for ordering the book, Dianne. I hope you enjoy it. xxoononnie

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    Mathew Paust
    Sep 22, 06:07pm

    Now you've got me smiling, too, Nonnie--and no cat to see me! ;)

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    Gary Hardaway
    Sep 23, 01:06pm

    A lovely and loving book.

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