“The Exact Likeness of Living Persons” by Margaret J. McMaster

The Exact Likeness of Living Persons

Margaret J. McMaster
Mansbridge Dunn Publishers (2022)
ISBN 978-1777170356
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (01/2023)

“The Exact Likeness of Living Persons” by Margaret J. McMaster is an eclectic collection of free writing assembled into a book you’ll want to visit again and again.

The collection is a mix of prose, short stories, poetry and even a play. As a reader, I could not figure out an identifiable sequence based on which its content was structured, but the heart of the book is people. As such, readers will find stories about characters, situations people get into, places where people lived, and things people do, among others; all reflected within the array of different artistic writing styles the author expressed herself with. From ‘the end of a marriage,’ ‘Breakfast in the Garden…,’ to a play about old age love, and ‘What Was left at The End.’ Some of these stories are complemented with cute images and pictures which makes the read even more enjoyable.

McMaster presents a wonderful way for readers to pound on what makes us human. The beauty of the little things, like a picture of friends and family enjoying the garden while having breakfast; the eureka moments like when we are able to find what works for us with our writing, the fear that makes us doubt our lover… It is precisely this ability that captured me from the beginning and did not let me go even after I turned the last page of the book, as my brain and heart kept pounding on those topics and how I experienced them and how I evolved from them in my own life journey. Her voice is simple, direct, and yet somewhat musical. Her writing, impeccable.

Overall, “The Exact Likeness of Living Persons” by Margaret J. McMaster is a discovery of a treasure hidden within words. A treasure found in small simple experiences which we can all find in our own memories. But make no mistake, the treasure found is priceless and will remain forever valuable in all readers’ hearts. A must have five star book to re-visit often when we need to reconnect with our humanity.

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