Book: Two Steps Forward

Two Steps Forward
Never judge a book by its cover—especially this one.

Bland, disorganised pregnancy rant with negative spin.
190 pages,

The English is atrocious in places. Take this sentence, for example, on page 10: “You’ve never seen inside the house and it’s really something.” I wouldn’t even let my middle-school students leave that sentence uncorrected.

The next sentence lacks a verb, and the sentence after that ends with “and a spiral staircase your childhood self would have died for.” Making such careless exaggerations seems inappropriate for a book that also focusses on the sufferings of failed pregnancy. (Yes, that’s weird.) Author: be careful what you say.

This book’s cover is misleading. The cover promised prose that was “sharp” and “ravishingly metaphorical”, when it was actually “sloppy” and “strangely obsessed”. From the outside, this book looks like a collection of upbeat short stories, but inside, you’ll find one badly-written, bland story peppered with graphic descriptions of failed pregnancy and problems during childbirth throughout. Bizarre.

All the “ravishing metaphors” allude to pregnancy, all of them are negative, and almost all of them are too graphic to write on this blog. One character is eating breakfast and has some jam on his face, which, according to this author, resembles “an embryo in a womb” (the tamest of this book’s metaphors). Why that metaphor, in particular? I don’t know whether this is for art’s sake or for shock value, but either way, I find it unsettling and confusing.

Neither cover nor blurb reveal the true nature of this book. They mislead the reader entirely.

This book is short and badly-written; basically unfinished. The cover is irrelevant and the metaphors are unhealthy. Don’t read it. ★

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