“the book creates an unforgettable portrait not just of two women but also of the ailing cultures that surround them. “

Ann Bracken’s book, The Altar of Innocence, explores the cycle of her mother’s mental illness and alcoholism and its legacy in her own life. With searing honesty and gripping details, the book creates an unforgettable portrait not just of two women but also of the ailing cultures that surround them. At the end there is an image of a ceramic heart that has been glued back together—”even broken, it was beautiful”—that makes a powerful figure both for the soul of the poet, forged through trauma, and for the darkly compelling book.

Shaileen Beyer, Librarian, Fiction and Teen, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Branch/State Library Resource Center

"the book creates an unforgettable portrait not just of two women but also of the ailing cultures that surround them. "