First a word about content warnings, while this book deals very frankly with grief and mental health I found that it was handled in a manner that was appropriate for the story that was being told. Nothing was made light of or ridiculed despite the humour instilled into a heavier topic.
- Suicidal Ideation
- Parental Loss
BRIEFLY, A WORD ABOUT ORDER
Order is the focal point around which existence revolves. Without order there is only chaos. And in the halls of Damnation (pronounced Dam-NAWT-ion, thank you kindly) the first sign of impending chaos is a cup of tea made without the water having first been well and properly boiled in a kettle.
Why is this relevant, O nameless narrator, you ask? Who cares about the preparatory order of tea in the fires of Hell?
Lucifer, dear reader. After all, how does one expect to properly greet the newcomers to Hell without having first had a hot cup of tea to bulwark the cold?
Behold The Morning Star, frantic on the annual Morning of Souls, the arrival of Damnation’s newest recruits.
Someone has misplaced the kettle.
Reader beware: you will feel all the emotions and you will (likely) shed a tear or two.
I want to apologize for the late delivery of this review. I had every intention of posting it during my day on the Escapist Book Tour but then I ended up moving on Monday and did not have internet access in my new place.
This novella is also a challenging one to review as it deals with grief and I find that while every individual experiences grief and loss throughout their life our experiences are unique. Nevertheless, this novella deserves to land in the hands of more readers and I hope that my recommendation encourages even one person to pick it up.
On the surface, Lucifer Morning Star starts his day by making tea to welcome the new guests to hell. Except today he can’t find his kettle. Stoudemire, his demon assistant and his therapist helps him find the kettle and while unpacking trauma simultaneously. That is the crux of this story and it’s delightful. It brings a level of whimsy to hell (in fact Whimsy Hell is the title of the series), to grief and to trauma.
Then this novella takes a turn and there are some harder hitting chapters that are more essay in nature and concern themes of grief and depression. I’ve returned to these pages twice already and will continue to do so in the future. A Cup of Tea is a short read that on nights when I’m in my feelings can return to and know that grief is a normal human emotion and there are times when it may rear its head but that life does indeed go on.
I can’t figure out how best to recommend this other than if you are moving through and processing grief that Tarzian is able to help put words to complex emotions while also adding humour to the mix. Even if you aren’t moving through grief currently, grief is such a ubiquitous emotion of the human experience that I’m sure that anyone will find something to relate to in these pages. Luke Tarzian is open and honest about his experiences with grief and mental health.
Author Bio & Information
Luke Tarzian was born in Bucharest, Romania. His parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he’s resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their twin daughters. Somehow, they tolerate him.
Unfortunately, he can also be found online and, to the dismay of his clients, also functions as a cover artist for independent authors.
In addition should you read this book and want a signed copy they can be found here: https://luketarzian.com/product/a-cup-of-tea-at-the-mouth-of-hell-signed-paperback/