The Estate Agent’s Daughter is Rhian Edwards’ eagerly awaited follow-up to her multi-prizewinning debut Clueless Dogs. Her voice is both powerfully personal, local to her Bridgend birthplace, and performative, born to be read aloud. In the title poem, the protagonist has become a surrealist house, with dream-like details ‘carpeted with sycamore seeds and cherry blossom throughout’; the sturdy realism of a writing desk ‘nudged/ to the brink of the bay’, as well as points of sharp irony: ‘all mod cons’. This poem foreshadows both the heartbreak (a shattered first marriage) and joy (the birth of a daughter), that feature in the work that follows.
We also have pieces of sly irony, of disillusioned dating. There is an engaging diptych devoted to a recently deceased grandmother and grandfather, who died within months of each other, whose vivid personalities with all their tragi-comic elements, shine through. The author combines her visceral skill for description, for these are poems based in the body, with a feminist forthright courage to speak of difficult things.
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