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deVoll’s Review of Towards Understanding

In her book, Towards Understanding, of approximately130 short, very terse poems, Lillian Brummet courageously reveals more about her deepest feelings and intimate emotions than most people ever truly discover about themselves. Drawing from the tragic years of her abusive, deprived childhood, and following the course of what could have led to a wasted life in adulthood, Brummet chronicles in her poems the desperation and despondency she suffered while growing up.

Every young person goes through a phase in their life where they question their worth: Am I pretty, Am I smart, Do I matter, but Brummet was so wounded by circumstances and abuse that she was trapped for years in a state of painful self-doubt and, perhaps self-loathing. All of her repressed anguish and heartbreak is poured out in these verses for the world to examine. This takes extreme courage and is as much a testament to this woman‚s strength and character as are the eventual personal and professional triumphs she has achieved.

Towards Understanding is one woman‚s journey toward self-realization. It is a tortuous journey and one that has its share of pitfalls and obstacles even for the reader as the poems, published in chronological order, often express an emotion more indicative of a singular experience the author was going through at that point in time than a prevailing condition having more universal appeal. There is a lesson to be learned here though for anyone. Mainly, I think, the author‚s intent is to reveal how dire conditions can adversely affect a person‚s entire life. And yet, against such enormous odds, Lillian Brummet does save herself, and in so doing gives hope to everyone suffering, as did she.

Towards Understanding does not provide a salve for bruised egos or a band-aide for small scrapes and scratches that are a normal part of everyday life. What it does provide is a cathartic treatment for despair due to abuse, neglect, and depravation. Lillian Brummet’s Towards Understanding is a poignant cry for attention as this young girl struggles for her place in a world that seems determined to ignore her, as much as her plight, in which tragically, she is not alone. It is for those others, lost in despair traveling, perhaps, down that same dangerous road to self-destruction, that I recommend this book. Through her poetry Brummet proudly declares: There is Hope! There is a reason to trust and to believe in Love. There is a brighter future than the dark days of the past and the gloom shadowing the present might portend. The world can be a beautiful, luminous place with unlimited opportunity when one is brave enough and determined enough to discover what leads to real happiness and true joy.

"I am willing to risk a stake and feel the victory of a survivor." With these words from a line in her poem, I Will Prevail, Lillian proclaims her personal victory over the darkness of her youth, and steps out into the light. Towards Understanding illuminates the path to personal salvation that Lillian Brummet blazed for herself, and now, through the passionate intimacy of her poetry, she invites others to follow.

~ R. deVoll Fisher, author of Caleb’s Branch ( book reviewer for deVoll Reviews/ Cheers E-zine