Reviews

Check out my latest, second website now at http://www.brixtonnights.com

I’ve had some wonderful reviews of my first collection, The Suicide, however this page is dedicated to the reviews awarded to my second collection, Toy Soldiers, by LoveReading UK and Kirkus Reviews. These three reviews (two from LoveReading UK, one from Kirkus Reviews) are professional, unbiased opinions of my work.

A reminder that you can purchase either of my books, Toy Soldiers or The Suicide, by using the following link:
http://www.amytollyfield.com/books


– Amy x


Video: Olympia Publishers


This banner image: Olympia Publishers


Awarded to Toy Soldiers by Amy Tollyfield (Olympia Publishers, London, 2020) by LoveReading UK
(www.lovereading.co.uk)



LoveReading UK


LoveReading UK assigned two of their ambassadors to review my second poetry collection (Toy Soldiers, Olympia Publishers, London, 2020) in summer 2021. LoveReading UK awarded the book its coveted ‘Indie Books We Love’ logo as a mark of their approval.

Here’s what their ambassadors had to say:


LoveReading UK Ambassador 1:

An interesting and thought-provoking collection of small verses.
Although quite short, they conveyed such meaning in just a few words.
The title poem ‘Toy Soldiers’ was so poignant, I just loved it.



LoveReading UK Ambassador 2:

‘Toy Soldiers’ is a short collection of 28 poems by Amy Tollyfield. There’s a wide variety of themes focused on in this collection and any poetry fan is bound to find a new piece to suit their mood.

I enjoyed how each poem flowed, had its own pace but there is a notable lyricism in the author’s writing that I found stayed consistently throughout. Throughout the collection I found that Tollyfield was able to craft poems that were immediately immersive and evocative. Each one left me pausing for a moment, contemplating the scene that had just been brought to life, before moving on to the next.
My favourite poem in the collection is ‘Gentle Rain’; there’s a cosiness and a comfort to it that sat very well with me, although I also found ‘Boudicca’ to have some powerful imagery too. I think that this is a great collection for fans of poetry. One that entices you back. I read this cover to cover then when skipping back to ponder over my favourites.


Read these reviews direct through the LoveReading UK website at http://www.lovereading.co.uk/book/21723/Toy-Soldiers-by-Amy-Tollyfield.html



Kirkus Reviews


Kirkus Reviews reviewed my second poetry collection (Toy Soldiers, Olympia Publishers, London, 2020) in summer 2021. I was delighted to have my book reviewed by their team – one of the most reputable book review companies in the world.

You can read their review now by following the link below:

http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/amy-tollyfield/toy-soldiers

You can also read their review below:



This video, created by Kirkus Reviews, explains why a Kirkus Reviews review is so valued, and why, from such a discerning, intelligent company, even a mixed review can frequently be a sure sign of a very successful piece of literature. Such feedback from industry professionals makes the Kirkus Reviews review of my second book – Toy Soldiers, below – positively glowing! 🙂




TOY SOLDIERS

BY AMY TOLLYFIELD ‧ RELEASE DATE: NOV. 26, 2020

Tollyfield expresses feelings of yearning and mourning in her latest poetry collection.

“I think my ring has found another,” writes Tollyfield in a poem about a lost piece of jewelry, “and I should do the same.” The loss of love, coupled with the inability to move on, is a recurring theme; indeed, the ghosts of former lovers seem to haunt every work. Sometimes it’s a literal haunting, as in “Nina,” in which an old flame troubles the narrator’s sleep: “I pray / and I plead / For your ghost to leave, / And slowly but surely, I feel the reprieve.” The “Clean Sheets” of another poem are unexpectedly tragic, as the bed they cover is no longer the site of romance. In “Lemongrass,” the scent of the eponymous plant reminds the speaker of a love far away: “Write back to me with how things are going. The / lemongrass wilted now winter is snowing.” Tollyfield explores other disappointments and humiliations related to the heart; “Plate of Peas” describes a date that goes wrong almost immediately: “I hypothesize / That you were hoping for a man twice my size.” Other poems address a child’s understanding of war, fires seen across a city’s rooftops, and the ancient warrior queen Boudicca. The poem “P’s and Q’s” bristles regarding the expectations that society foists on women: “I’m told that (as a woman) / I should mind my p’s and q’s. // And I do / But I swear / Like a trooper.”

Together, the 28 works provide a conflicted portrait of longing, angst, and self-assertion. Although the poet is no stickler for meter, she structures many of her poems with predictable rhyme patterns, and they sometimes feel a bit forced, as in “Plate of Peas.” The verses tend to be at their best when the author leans into their silliness, as in the winking, delightfully unpretentious opening to “Leather”: “If I come back / (And I may never come back), may I be warm to the / touch and tender; / Shacked up in a terraced that’s slender, with a girl and a babe and a blender.” Even stronger are the free verse poems, such as “The Victoria Line,” in which Tollyfield can concentrate on striking lines without chasing rhymes. Too often, the poems rely on vague, abstract, or clichéd imagery—the smell of home, a loving smile, and a bed of dreams all appear in “Gentle Rain,” for instance. The most powerful work in the collection, “Horse d’Oeuvres,” is also the most surprising. An unremarkable opening transitions to a wedding where the speaker and her lover have stolen off to have sex. The hors d’oeuvres that the guests are eating lead to word association that transforms the lovers’ relationship into a metaphorical horse: “And neighed, neighed, collapsing. Thinking, breathing, / feeling — almost gone save opening its eyes and / sighing, ‘once you were mine, once you were mine, once you were mine.’ ”

A mixed set of poems that alternately falters and inspires.



The above review is the sole creation of Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 2600 Via Fortuna Suite 130 Austin, TX 78746; their team having reviewed and quoted excerpts from Toy Soldiers by Amy Tollyfield (Olympia Publishers, London, 2020)



As of 20th May 2021, Toy Soldiers, Amy’s second poetry collection, is rated five stars
out of a possible five on both http://www.amazon.co.uk and http://www.goodreads.com!

Enjoyed the book? Please leave a review on either of these sites if so!



Praise for Toy Soldiers by Amy Tollyfield:

‘A conflicted portrait of longing, angst, and self-assertion’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘I enjoyed how each poem flowed, had its own pace but there is a notable lyricism in the author’s writing that I found stayed consistently throughout. Throughout the collection I found that Tollyfield was able to craft poems that were immediately immersive and evocative. Each one left me pausing for a moment, contemplating the scene that had just been brought to life, before moving on to the next … I think that this is a great collection for fans of poetry. One that entices you back’
– LoveReading UK ambassador


~


Links:

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Website header image: Simon Holliday, 2021



‘Amy Tollyfield’ and the domain of ‘www.amytollyfield.com’ and its sub-pages refer to the UK-based author and poet of the same name. Amy is unaffiliated with any third parties bar her publishers, http://www.olympiapublishers.com. Any third parties featured on this website and its sub-pages have been credited accordingly. If you would like to get in touch for any reason then please use the contact page on this website which may be reached using the following link: http://www.amytollyfield.com/contact. Thank you.

References to ‘author’ throughout this site – for example when detailing that an image belongs to/was taken by the ‘author’ – refer to the above stated Amy Tollyfield.