Love and Vodka is evocative and sensual in parts, bittersweet and stormy in others. But, always powerful. While Ms Strigas has broken it down into parts, each one connects with the next to create a roadmap through the mind and heart of a wonderful poet.

In part one, there is a sense of a haunted knowing, a heart that is pulling in a different direction. But, there is also wisdom in these words. While all of her writings are personal, I was especially drawn to Conversations with my daughter. There is a different kind of intimacy here that allows a behind the scenes glimpse. A dreamer and a realist. A mom trying to show her daughter the bigger role of the universe.

Part two is filled with a craving. You can feel the ache in these words. My favorite piece calls out to the universe itself.

Part three is called modern love, which fits these pieces perfectly. Her words capture the way love feels now. In Tell Me, you can feel the ache for answers, but also the desire to be whatever she is needed to be. And, I think most readers can relate to that feeling.

In part four, we get a carnal seductiveness. Each piece is filled with need. The title piece, Love and Vodka, captures the intensity of desire and lust. It paints love as addictive and destructive and absolutely necessary.

Part five is very stream of conscious writing. It is prose that delves deep with both wonderful and bitter truths. In Blue, she perfectly captures longing and how distance creates its own memories. It’s beautifully raw and real.

In the last section, she takes you by the heart with words that leave no emotion unexplored. She writes to the reader, daring us not to feel something, daring us not to find ourselves in her words.

Ms Strigas is always a pleasure to read, and her third book doesn’t disappoint. Her words are messy and gritty and magic, and I love every one.

A definite 5 stars

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