Ars Botanica: A Field Guide

Curbside Splendor. Jul. 2017. 224p. illus. ISBN 9781940430980. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781945883033. MEMOIR
Taranto's debut memoir is sometimes painful to read, focusing mostly on events surrounding the abortion of his then-partner's child. Along with drawings, mostly of the natural world, Taranto gives us letters to his child and a narrative of his life with the child's mother. The loss, first of the baby and then of his relationship in the wake of the abortion, is devastating for Taranto, and this book is his attempt to write his way out of grief. Unfortunately, at times he leans too heavily on the use of profanities to express extreme emotions. Much of this book, intentionally or not, ends up being an argument against abortion, simply by presenting the toll it takes on two individuals.
VERDICT This singular account will make readers wish that Taranto was a more polished writer and thinker.

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