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Milk and Honey Book Review

by | May 30, 2023 | Book Reviews, Poetry

Rating: 5/5 stars
Age Rating: 18+

I first picked up the Milk and Honey book while visiting Powell’s Books in Portland. I didn’t know much about it before picking it up, and it was one of those instances where the book I needed found me where I was. The honesty in these poems resonated with experiences and emotions I’d tucked away. As I flipped through its pages, I was drawn into a world where vulnerability isn’t shied away from but embraced as an integral part of our existence.

Milk and Honey takes readers through a stark reflection of life’s bitter and sweet moments, a roller coaster ride through emotions that are as poignant as they are relatable. The book’s title, an allusion to sweetness and abundance, as well as suffering and deprivation, paints an apt picture of the human journey through love, loss, and healing.

This collection of poetry and prose is divided into four parts – “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking,” and “the healing.” Each section is a testament to the phases of a journey that many of us have embarked on at some point in our lives. The book exposes the raw edges of pain and heartbreak before guiding us through the path of love and finally into the realm of healing.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into this Milk and Honey book review.

The Hurting

From the first page of “the hurting,” the section rings with a visceral, almost startling honesty. Each verse conveys powerful emotions, encapsulating the collective pain women often endure silently. Kaur’s words aren’t just ink on paper. They’re a rallying cry, encouraging us to expose the hidden wounds and open dialogues about issues such as sexual assault, violence, and abuse.

Reading through this segment, it felt like standing at a window into the experiences of countless women who have been forced into silence. Kaur’s verses reminded me that pain, when unaddressed, doesn’t just dissipate—it lingers and festers. And that’s where this section’s power lies. It doesn’t just give voice to the voiceless; it also whispers reassurances that our suffering doesn’t isolate us. Instead, it connects us.

The Loving

Kaur’s “the loving” feels like a soothing balm applied after the raw and hard-hitting honesty of the initial section, “the hurting.” In this section, Kaur transitions from exploring the pain of abuse to the softer, tender terrain of love. It’s like stepping out of a cold, harsh winter into the welcoming warmth of spring.

This section is a celebration of love in all its forms. It’s a symphony of verses dedicated to the intoxicating passion of romance, the unbreakable bonds of friendship, and the indispensable journey toward self-love. The poems in this section serve as a reminder that while the journey of love might be layered with complexities and challenges, it is also a journey filled with tenderness, understanding, and a profound sweetness that can often heal the deepest of wounds.

The Breaking

“The breaking” is a heartrending exploration of heartbreak, disillusionment, and love lost. With each word, Kaur plunges into the depths of human emotions, unmasking the raw pain accompanying a broken heart. Her words mirror the natural and universal aspect of heartbreak, a phenomenon we will likely encounter at some point in life.

The narrative of heartbreak is not just about sorrow but also about transformation. It’s about rebuilding ourselves, learning from the experience, and emerging stronger. So, even if you are in the throes of heartbreak, let Kaur’s words wrap you in solace and inspire you to face the future with optimism.

The Healing

“The healing” is the concluding part of the book, offering hope and comfort after a storm of emotions. Kaur gently nudges the readers towards a path of healing, encouraging them to rediscover self-love and rebuild connections with others.

Her writing here is reminiscent of a comforting whisper, assuring readers they aren’t alone in their struggles. Kaur’s poetry magically transforms the harshest experiences into healing balms, encouraging readers to give themselves time to heal and permission to feel.

My Review

Milk and Honey is a journey charting the depths of pain and the soaring heights of healing, love, and heartbreak. As I turned the pages, I felt an intense resonance, not only as a woman but also as a fellow traveler on this wild, unpredictable ride of life.

Kaur’s stark and profound words confront the raw underbelly of human experiences—topics like sexual abuse, loss, and healing. Her approach is courageous, and her impact is profound. I was struck by how her verses articulated my unspoken emotions, the feelings that were always there but never quite found their way out. There were moments, while deeply engrossed in her poetry, where I had to stop, take a breath, and marvel at how elegantly she captured the intricate complexities of emotion.

The format of Milk and Honey is undeniably simple yet thoughtful. Each poem occupies its own space, enabling me to wholly immerse myself in each verse’s depth. The subtle illustrations accompanying each piece, rather than mere embellishments, amplify the emotional resonance of Kaur’s words. The book divided into four chapters lends a compelling narrative arc that makes the journey even more engaging, where each section serves a different purpose.

Though it may be tempting to rush through the book’s 204 pages, this poetry collection demands to be savored. I took my time with it, letting the words sit on my tongue and tasting their truth before moving on to the next verse. I found myself returning to certain poems, ruminating on the insights and emotions they evoked.

Overall, Milk and Honey is a resounding celebration of human resilience. It’s a testament to the healing power of empathy and love. This collection can be revisited repeatedly, especially during those moments of need when you’re searching for a reminder of your own strength and the promise of healing. 

If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!