Book Review: Freedom Song, by Emma Farry, illustrated by Ewan McDougall

Available in selected bookshops.

cv_freedom_songWhat began as a poem drafted during the night, twenty-five years ago, after a particularly difficult meeting with a young mother while working on a documentary, has resulted in a stunning hardcover book with a simple message – love conquers all.

In the preface Farry says, ‘The sadness of this woman’s life and lack of love that it illustrated affected me deeply. The poem has been a kind of a touchstone for me ever since’.

Living in Manhattan when the planes flew into the towers on September 11 2001, Farry again turned to the words of the poem to make sense of the disaster.

Back home in Dunedin in 2010 Farry saw Ewan McDougall’s art in an exhibition at the Gallery de Novo and felt he could produce the appropriate works of art for her poem.
The colourful oils compliment the words on each page and I am sure they will even appeal to children, and offer tremendous opportunity for thought provoking discussion in homes or schools.

At the rear of the book all the paintings are named and listed in order with the finished size and painting medium.

Emma Farry chose her birth town Dunedin to launch her book Freedom Song during August 2018, which seems fitting as she received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Otago University before gaining a Diploma in Journalism from Canterbury University.

Freedom Song is a wonderful book of hope for the future which will sit nicely on my coffee table ‘And safe in the knowledge, true love would abide, United and balanced, our spirits could glide’.

Reviewed by Lesley McIntosh

Freedom Song
by Emma Farry, illustrated by Ewan McDougall
Published by Be Loved Press
ISBN 9780473410131