Book Review: Where The Road Turns


B o o k   r e v i e w

by ralph geeplay

Reviewed here, this is not a book that was just published. It has been out for  about 5 years. But having just read and gotten it, decided would review, and why not. Where The Road Turns is a handsomely written poetry book that has been deservedly praised elsewhere/s and especially so written, by the Liberian writer Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. Published in 2010, this mouth watered collection is a flock of many themes—there’s not a dull moment. Wesley speaks from the heart and penned a volume which takes a reader on a roller coaster— as she narrates awful war tales, masterly weaved in rhymes and verses about life during the civil unrest, and the woes she experienced in her native Liberia before being transplanted in North America.  Wesley’s voice is superb in the chapters preceding, plaiting a lovely language, which is busied with radiance.

What the reader gets from reading this collection are tales of love, the densities and shades of life, and the grand qualities of the human spirit for—survival. As a woman writer Jabbeh Wesley pays tribute to motherhood and sisterly embrace.

Where the Road Turns is also a book that tells a Liberian tale, but garnered, are themes that are also universal, as the poems speak virtually to the reader, it mesmerizes and cajoles.  There’s tempo to the lines as Wesley narrates quietly a Liberian tragedy which visited the country, denying her the otherwise peaceful life that was, before a horrid crisis befell the West African country. There is subtleness to her writing, but underneath this powerfully laid voice is a fury and ire from knowing and seeing war. Published by autumn press in Pittsburg, this is a 115 page paperback. “If I Could Write A Poem About Love” and “Each Waking Moment,” are compliments to the healing, and forgiveness, on page 21 she writes:

If I could write a poem about love

I’d write a slender one

About a jaybird that sits on my deck

When the sun has been out so long

Over the humping cliffs

And in “Each Waking Moment,” on page 15 Patricia, beguiles her audience about the beauty of life, thankful for living and being alive, and the everyday little pleasures we almost certainly take for granted, writing:

I love my morning on a hill

Each waking moment, the rustling brush,

Each silent cricket, the squirrel wakes

It is this beautiful unmistaken verse that has earned the book praise.  Was delighted to have gotten in the mail Where the Road Turns, sat down after a long day as I leafed tru,  rolling my thick fingers through the soft pages, relishing a flowing language by a gifted poet. Wesley teaches English at Pennsylvania State University, Atoona. She has written four books of poetry, a children’s book “In Monrovia, the River Visits the Sea,” and recently published by One Moore Book Publishers. The book is available on Amazon