Sarah N.B., better known by her tumblr username notbecauseofvictories, has been one of my favorite online writers for over 3 years. It Begins in A Garden is an anthology of some of her work that’s been previously posted on her tumblr.
Her stuff is very ethereal-it’s a mix of musings on gender, notes on the divine, dry humor, reverence, and beautiful prose, but is ultimately a love letter to humanity and what it means to be human. The best way I can sum up the whole thing is to say that it feels a lot like if the Bible were written like American Gods. That being said, her work is not always easy to read- if you’re not comfortable getting deep into catholic lore and canon, it’s probably easy to lose interest or get confused. Likewise, if stylized prose isn’t your thing, you’re probably not going to want to pick this up.
As a fan of Sarah, I was a little disappointed that some of my favorite works weren’t included in the , mainly her poetry on angels. Still, I highly enjoyed being able to hold a copy of her writing. My two personal favorites from this collection were For Catherine of Siena, and Other Faithfull Weirdos and Five Conversations Between a Waitress Named Maria and an Angel, Recently Fallen.
For those that liked this collection, I would encourage to look into her tumblr, especially the “A Glory of Angels”, “Come the War” and “My Words” tags. I’ll also leave a link to one of my favorite works by her that didn’t make the cut for the chapbook, “10 Things Michael Loves About His Brothers” and “Say you’re an Angel Cast Down from Heaven“.