Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sonya Nanstad's Thoughts, Dreams, and Reality


Sonya Nanstad’s Thoughts, Dreams, and Reality is a compilation of poems and short stories, both fiction and non-fiction.  Nanstad’s writing using these various media to illuminate the human, that range from our protective feelings that we have toward our loved ones to our reflections on our growing children.

Among the short stories are “Uncle Hartwick,” “Running Late,” and her signature story, “The Caretaker,” a story about the reversal of roles for a mentally challenged girl when an intruder with an “evil smile” and eyes that “looked bloodshot and swollen, like those of a caged, rabid animal” threatens her sister’s safety.  “The Caretaker” is an incredibly powerful story, highlighting the power that all of us have to summon strength during times of duress, as well as the intense upwelling of emotion that occurs whenever we sense a threat to our loved ones.

Her collection of poems touches on the themes of our underlying humanity, from motherhood in “My Son,” to reflections on life in “Early Morning—Nantucket,” when “Soft breezes and warm/ Sunshine/ Soothe my aging skin.”  “My Daughters” is perhaps Nanstad’s most touching poem, chronicling the transformation of her daughters “From babies/ Whose kisses felt like/ Billions of butterfly wings” to adults who are individual, yet the same, on their paths of life, of which she hopes to be a part, “Let me be a part of you,/ Sometimes---/ Don’t leave me behind.”

Nanstad’s words are evocatively beautiful and deeply touch the reader with her raw emotion and the exploration of the human heart that she renders.  Thoughts, Dreams, and Reality showcases her stunning prowess in using words to create an intense visceral reaction of emotion within readers, leaving them with the overwhelming feeling that they have been touched on a deeper level—as she reaches into their hearts and their minds with her prose and her poetry.