Book Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

First of all, Happy International Women`s Day, my lovely readers! Whatever you do today, just remind yourselves that you are strong and that nothing stands in your way. Because today is all about empowerment, I thought it will be the perfect moment to post my review of "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur. This book sent the reader community into a frenzy last year, and everyone was raving about it. Since then a couple of negative reviews started to emerge. I am somewhat in the middle because I liked this book, but I did not love all of it.
"Milk and Honey" Rupi Kaur

"Milk and Honey" is a collection of poetry and prose split into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. It deals with abuse, trauma, violence, love and femininity. Kaur`s writing is beautiful, very raw and powerful. I enjoyed it and a couple of her poems truly resonated with me. But other bits were underwhelming and they felt too much like Tumblr poetry. And there`s nothing bad about that, but it was not what I expected. Blame it on the hype, but I wanted this book to change my life. And sadly, it did not (though some poems left a mark).

For me, the best part of this poetry collection was "The Hurting". For those that dealt with parental abuse and child molestation, this section can be triggering. The poems were sometimes hard to read, but they were exquisite. I had so many feelings reading this, from anger to sadness and disgust. It is hard to explain what I felt because it is not something that I experienced. I did not have a negative fatherly figure and I was raised in a loving environment. But just because it did not happen to me, it doesn`t mean it`s not real. And I`m not talking only about the abuse. Little girls are still raised to be quiet and reserved, to do what others want in order to be "good girls". So Kaur addressed the issues that arise from this upbringing, the scars it can leave. And it was perfect!

Sadly, after this part, everything started to go downhill. I was not a fan of "The Loving" section at all and there were moments when I thought I would eye roll myself into another dimension. I am not a fan of love poems, so maybe someone else might enjoy this part. But for me, it was "Meh". I also felt that it was too sexualised, reducing love to physical contact. "The Breaking" and "The Healing" were good, with some impactful poems. 

If you are new to poetry, this book is a must and you`ll love the easy and straightforward style. Those more seasoned might sense some problematic aspects of the writing. But I would recommend it as well, for the powerful message. This is a book that will make you a bit kinder, towards others and yourself. Maybe the writing is basic sometimes, but it`s full of emotions. And at the end of the day, poetry is about feelings.

I would give this book 3.5 stars. But since you can`t do that on Goodreads, I lowered my 4 to a 3stars rating. Below I have selected my favourite poems of each section, to give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to read this book. (did not like any in The Loving section, sorry)

The Hurting

" every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
like you"

The Breaking

" I don`t know what living a balanced life feels like
when I am sad
I don`t cry I pour
when I am happy
I don`t smile I glow
when I am angry
I don`t yell I burn

the good thing about feeling in extremes is
when I love I give them wings
but perhaps that isn`t
such a good thing cause
they always tend to leave
and you should see me
when my heart is broken
I don`t grieve
I shatter"

The Healing

" you are in the habit
of co-depending 
on people to
make up for what 
you think you lack

who tricked you
into believing
another person
was meant to complete you
when the most they can do is complement"

1 comment

  1. Good review! Very fair and both similar and different to my experience of it which is interesting. Have you by chance read "The Princess Saves Herself In This One" by Amanda Lovelace? They have a very similar style though I do admit I had more eye rolling in Lovelace's book - would love to see how you find it :)