The Clouds Beyond Us | Poignant Memoir Delivered Through Poetry And Prose

***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to purchase the product using the link then I get paid at no extra cost to you. I only provide links to products I really enjoy, so you can be assured that it’s a positive recommendation from me!***

First off, thank you to Melanie Fraser of Fraser’s Fun House for allowing me to be a part of this Blog Blitz!

The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi title image with bookcase in background

Author: Rahf AlRashidi
Genre: Short story/poetry collection
Published: December2018

Synopsis

A beautiful and eclectic mix of stories and poetry, as presented by new and exciting author Rahf AlRashidi. This collection of insights into the author’s soul takes the reader on a melancholy journey of loss, heartache and ill treatment, whilst at once telling the story of strength and showing the joy to be found in the aftermath of sorrow. An inspirational read for women across the world.

My review

I’ll admit right now that The Clouds Beyond Us fits in a genre I have never really read before. A combination of short stories and poetry, Rahf AlRashidi’s book is a reflective, creative, and memoir-style book that takes the reader through a journey of adoration, fear, and heartbreak.

Because the genre and style are one I’m somewhat unfamiliar with I was unsure what to expect when I started reading The Clouds Beyond Us. It only took a few pages and I was completely hooked, ready to sink my teeth into Rahf AlRashidi’s story and neglect the outside world for a little while, instead allowing myself to be fully taken in by her words. AlRashidi’s writing style is an interesting one which is influenced both by her creative and medical sides – a lovely combination of both a dreamer and a realist. Poetic concepts are intertwined with medical terminology that makes for a unique read.

Cover image of The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi
Cover image for The Clouds Beyond Us

The focus of the book is on AlRashidi’s personal relationship with her partner, from the rush of love at the beginning to the breakdown at the end. Even if the audience won’t all be able to relate to the issues within the relationship it’s easy for most to relate to the concept, and the author puts across her feelings and experiences in such a simple yet captivating way. Each story and poem is filled with emotion, and is a beautiful glimpse into the struggles that AlRashidi has been through. I came away from the book feeling like I knew her in a way.

Despite focusing on quite a heavy topic at times the book ends on a hopeful note, and I didn’t at any point feel weighed down by emotions. Each chapter is short and to the point, making it easy to reflect on what you’ve just read before turning the page. I came away from AlRashidi’s writing feeling positive and inspired, and it helped me to think back to my own past in a creative way again – something I’ve lost touch with since the present life has taken over. This sort of book is perfect for anyone who wants something a bit more introspective and considered, and I think it’s an important read for anyone who may also be struggling within their relationship – to experience similar experiences through someone else’s eyes can sometimes be the thing that opens your own.

The book isn’t just focused on the main subject as AlRashidi explores other aspects of her life as well, such as her family and her studies. She includes a myriad of quotes from recognised figures and other literature which enhance what she says through her own words. I particularly liked how the book was structured in this regard – it’s mostly in order of events but it’s not linear as such as the chapters jump between topics to build up more than just a story. Although some of them link heavily others don’t, which makes it the sort of books that’s easy to pick up, put down, and pick back up again – something I like in a book considering I often read during my commute! I actually found myself reading the entire thing in two sittings because of how easy it is to get into, so be warned you may miss your train stop like I nearly did!

Purchase links

If you’d like to purchase The Clouds Beyond Us then you can do so at the following links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

author bio

Rahf AlRashidi is a multi-genre author of short stories and poetry. A medical student from Kuwait, she currently lives abroad to pursue her medical degree. She first began writing short stories at the age of nine, when she lived in Texas, USA. In 2009, the journey towards her dreams began, with writing becoming a part of her life after showcasing her talents as an artist and writer in the District PTA contest in Denton, going on to win first place.

Her mother, a psychologist and an author, has always been and continues to be her source of inspiration and her faithful guide.

Rahf is currently working on her next book.

Twitter | Goodreads

Don’t forget to like, pin, and leave a comment if you enjoyed my review!You can also check some of my other memoir, poetry, and non-fiction book reviews here:

Rise, In Pursuit Of Empowerment – Sabine Matharu
Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet – Bill Weber
Spiritual Lighthouse: The Dream Diaries Of Ann Marie Ruby – Ann Marie Ruby

Pinterest graphic for The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf AlRashidi
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Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet – Bill Weber | Love Poetry That Will Touch Your Soul

***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to purchase the product using the link then I get paid at no extra cost to you. I only provide links to products I really enjoy, so you can be assured that it’s a positive recommendation from me!***

Thank you to Bill Weber first of all for reaching out to me and offering me a digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

Title image of 'Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet' by Bill Weber poetry book

Author: Bill Weber
Genre: Poetry
Published: October 2018

Synopsis

Sex… Bombarded with imagery in advertising, on TV, in the movies, sex has become commonplace and ordinary. Even in our romantic relationships, we have too often let the flames of passion die to a flicker.
Yet sex is naturally healthy, good for loving relationships, and even spiritually enriching. Rendered in exquisite language, the poems in this volume open new windows into the sensual magic and mystery of sexual pleasure. They allow us to rediscover the sacredness of both the body and the act of lovemaking.
Inspired to write these poems by a desire to express the depths of meaning and the physical expression of making love, poet Bill Weber paints vivid pictures in words that far transcend old clichés and masterfully express the transcendent dimensions of sexual pleasures.
(Taken from Goodreads)

My Review

Poetry is a highly subjective art form, and one that often goes underappreciated. For those that enjoy poetry, or those who would like to try, Bill Weber offers simple, relatable poetry in his new collection of poems entitled Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet. His style will particularly appeal to those who like their poetry without rule or rhyme; to run wild with the imagination.

The collection is split into nine parts, each with three poems included. Images of various flowers and plants are scattered within the pages to give the viewer some more visual imagery to go along with the author’s words. The book starts with an introduction and this is very important to read – here Bill Weber explains how the book came about and what he hopes you, the reader, will get out of his work. It also includes a poem entitled ‘How To Read This Book’ which I thought was a clever and original way of communicating to the reader.

Book cover of 'Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet' by Bill Weber
Cover image for Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet

The first thing I got from reading the collection is that it’s clear just how much Weber adores his wife, and his words showcase how strongly and passionately he still feels about her. This is so comforting to read, and gives the poems a certain warmth. Each poem is wonderfully descriptive and so relatable to those that have experienced such a vibrant and strong relationship and will mean a lot to those longing for one as well. Weber’s words are sensual and absorbing, describing each intimate connection between him and his wife as if they are tangible things. I found that each poem flowed well and gave me real insight into Weber’s mind.

Weber touches upon some main themes within his work, namely the concepts of femininity and masculinity. As well as exploring what each comprises of, he also looks at the differences between the two and how they connect together so perfectly in the right moment. The obvious theme is love, but between the lines there are hints of spirituality – some subtle, others less so. From what I can gather the poems were initially written for Weber’s wife’s eyes only (he mentions her being the reason for publication in the acknowledgements at the start of the book) which adds another layer of intimacy to the collection knowing that they were truly for her, and not an audience.

Some of Weber’s poems are more structured than others and range from nine lines long to between one and two pages. He uses repetition for effect in some of them, but I found myself drawn towards the less structured of the poems as they have a raw, wilder feel to them. Some of them are very stream-of-consciousness which works really well given the subject matter. I found that each poem was best read slowly (as Weber encourages) with time to reflect, and sometimes read several times over to truly digest what lies within the words.

A great collection for the poetry lovers out there, Bill Weber’s latest book will hopefully inspire readers to consider their own intimate relationships in the same way, and appreciate those things that they may have taken for granted over the years.

Purchase Links

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Choosing Me: Love Letters From A Poet then you can use the following links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Author Bio

Bill is a devilishly handsome and hopelessly romantic poet living a charmed life. Bill and his radiantly beautiful, sacred feminine goddess soulmate live in an enchanted tantric castle on the outskirts of the legendary city of romantic gifts, Vandalia, Illinois. Bill’s life is like a magical tantra love story where dreams from sensuous love poems come true every night, and oftentimes during the day, as well. His dream is to touch your heart with his words, to awaken your consciousness to your eternal beauty, and to ignite the passion that lives in your soul.
(Taken from Bill Weber’s website)

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

If you liked this review please like, pin, and leave a comment! You can also check my other recent book reviews here:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
The Summer Of Chasing Dreams – Holly Martin
The Accidental Further Adventures Of The Hundred-Year-Old Man – Jonas Jonasson