I received a copy of The Empty Chair in exchange for my honest opinion, and I feel fortunate to have read it. I rate this work as a solid five stars. Check out my other reviews and you will find that I don’t do that often. I suppose that if this was a six-star rating system, it would be six stars.
This is one of those works of poetry that is hard to put into a simple, straightforward review. It is by far the most powerful book I have read in a very long time. The author, Michael Andrews, has obviously poured his soul into beautifully wrought poems, that are warnings and encouragement to us all. He has encapsulated such an important topic that delivers a strong message with relatively few words. More than that, he has promised to donate to charity from each person who buys a copy of this book, presently underpriced at a mere 99 cents. It is worth much more than that, in my opinion.
Do you remember when you were bullied in school? Or when you saw others being bullied? Can you recall the tragic consequences that came of it when nothing was done?
The author draws from a variety of contexts in which bullying takes place, sometimes with people stepping in to help, while at others times being too afraid to act. But the author expertly shies away from guilting me, the reader, for being a human being. He does not lambast me for a perceived lack on my part, if there ever was a time when I might have stood by and did nothing about a bullying incident. I am not being judged by the book. Admonished, yes. Warned, of course, but never judged.
He takes the perspective of parents, who have gone through the death of their son, or a near-tragic experience, and it is moving as we see their loving reaction to their child’s pain from being bullied.
It is my hope that these poems would be granted permission by the author, to be used all over the world, especially in schools that need constant reminders like this. I could imagine that the poems in this book could help save future lives. It’s that good.
So grab a copy of this book and after reading, you might find yourself donating to beatbully.org. Tell everyone you know about this one. You won’t be disappointed.