The Passion of Woo & Isolde by Jennifer Tseng

Thanks to guest reviewer *Avery Lewis for reading and reviewing the following book, which was sent to Grab the Lapels by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.


The Passion of Woo and Isolde by Jennifer Tseng won the 11th Annual Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Competition in August 2017. The contents resemble a most peculiar love poem. Jarring, supernatural circumstances have allowed two lovers who were once lost to find each other again in a different life. The web of these two lovers lure others in like trapped insects, as the reader learns of the man’s new wife and the complications she brings to his life. Sprinkled throughout the book are brief tales that mirror the struggle between the lovers. When the reader comes across the tale of the mouse who endearingly extracts thorns from the paws of a lion, that is when the power of relationships is demonstrated; the haunting, final image of the lion’s bloody paw and devotion to the covenant cannot be forgotten. The author does a fine job in captivating the reader’s attention throughout the book, and the heavy themes of love, relationships, sacrifice, and growth are always relevant in the lives of people. The Passion of Woo and Isolde is a bizarre, off-kilter romance that is touchingly raw and incredibly human.

*Avery Lewis graduated from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN) in 2015 with a degree in Religious Studies. Some of her favorite authors include Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Sylvia Plath, and J.R.R. Tolkien. She was born in Michigan and aspires to work as a school counselor.

One comment

  1. This is super fun! I love the idea of a guest review in this sense. How did you end up passing this book on, Melanie?

    Avery Lewis- Thank you for the concise and thoughtful review! I love reading short stories and have recently gotten back into poetry. Your review has captured my interest in this work, for sure. In my research about the Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Competition, I learned that this year’s winner will have an introduction published by the judge. Did this chapbook also have such an introduction? If so, do you think it added to the reading experience or not?


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