At one level Demetriades’s The Plumb Line is about growing up with issues around mother/father and boarding school, at another it delves into the redemptive nature of love and complexities of being human.How does a child learn to love if she feels abandoned and her gender is unvalued? We follow the narrator, from early years in the Swiss mountains to the ‘desolate’ south coast where she’s packed off to board, her ‘trunk sways like a coffin’.The book is, like the best plays, in three parts: ‘arrival’, ‘gravity’ and ‘departure’. At the heart of the book, Gravity means weight, importance and falling, but also the force pulling bodies together. As in families, lovers, becoming a mother.The final section, caring for dying parents, bring touching insights. The title poem is particularly effective. A plumb line is an axis pointing to the centre of gravity, but in the biblical sense it’s also the standard by which people live. Like family. So, when her frail father actually thanks the narrator, she tells herself: ‘it’s the plumb line between us.’Exquisitely, the poet sings her dying father out in Sanskrit and finds ‘his eyes are polyhedrons’, the way we all have many faces, and the end line: ‘I’m gazing at the mask of a Greek monster’ surely both references her father’s Greek blood, and suggests she has seen behind the mask.Read this and be moved, warmed and inspired!