TMW Book Reviews

Review – No Turning Around


Sandi McRae Huszagh

In “No Turning Around,” Sandi McRae Huszagh delivers a poignant collection of poetry that traverses the depths of human emotion, touching on grief, love, nature, and the journey towards understanding and acceptance. The book is divided into four parts, each exploring different facets of the human experience, from the rawness of loss to the beauty found in the world around us.

The first part, “Grief is an island,” introduces readers to the theme of bereavement that permeates the collection. Huszagh’s opening poem, “Soul Meat,” sets the tone with its meditation on loss and the quest for peace after the death of a loved one. Her vivid imagery and emotional honesty invite readers into her world, sharing in the universal experience of mourning.

As the collection progresses into “Mind-link with the cosmos,” Huszagh shifts her focus outward, reflecting on nature and our connection to it. Poems like “Fripp Island” and “Elbe River Banks” showcase her ability to capture the essence of a landscape in her words, painting serene and sometimes stark pictures that resonate with the reader’s own memories of places they have loved.

In the third section, “In our submission, we soar,” the poet explores themes of aging, resilience, and the search for meaning. “Becoming Eighty” is a standout piece, offering a candid and sometimes humorous look at the realities of growing older, while still finding joy and purpose in life’s later stages.

The final part, “I am home,” brings the collection full circle, grounding the reader in the concept of home—both as a physical place and an emotional state of being. “The Bar” and “Two Chairs” exemplify Huszagh’s ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, highlighting the significance of the places and moments that define our sense of belonging.

Throughout “No Turning Around,” Huszagh’s writing is characterized by its clarity, depth, and the raw beauty of its emotions. Her work is deeply personal, yet universally relatable, offering readers a window into her soul while mirroring their own experiences and feelings.

Huszagh’s poetry is a testament to the power of words to heal, to connect, and to inspire. “No Turning Around” is not just a book of poems; it is a journey through the heart of human experience, inviting readers to pause, reflect, and find solace in the knowledge that, in our grief and our joy, we are not alone.

This collection is a must-read for anyone who has faced loss, who finds beauty in the natural world, or who seeks to explore the depths of their own emotions through the lens of poetry. Huszagh’s voice is a beacon of light in the darkness, reminding us that, even when there is no turning around, there is a path forward—marked by the memories we cherish, the beauty we observe, and the connections we forge along the way.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2025