Book review: The Wandering Nature of Us Girls

by Frankie McMillan (Canterbury University Press, 2022)

“Those girls are making a scene,” writes Frankie McMillan in ‘The movie of your life’ and oh she sure is. Fifty seven scenes in five sections. Are these scenes poetry, are they prose, are they prose poetry, flash fiction?

The lines between these categories are blurry at best anyway and Frankie’s writing spans couplets, dense pages, lists (such as ‘A litany of the washing machines in my life’) and shapes. One of the great wanderings is water, both going with its flow and resisting. In ‘The winter swimming of my grandmother’ she writes, “My grandmother swims naked. She swims serious. She swims the lake, from the bank right over to the reeds on the other side, her pink woollen hat bobbing above the water.” The scenes in The Wandering Nature of Us Girls are autobiographical, or historical, or fantastical: honed for a reader to take a dip.