By Louisa Reid
The Poet is powerful with current and universal themes told in ways readers may not expect. Check out the blurb and my full review below. First, thanks to the publisher – Double Day and organiser – Random T. Tours for gifting a copy of the book and for inviting me to review.
Bright, promising Emma is entangled in a toxic romance with her old professor – and she’s losing control.
Charming, cruel Tom is idolized by his students and peers – and he thinks he holds all the cards.
In their small Oxford home, he manipulates and undermines Emma’s every
thought and act. Soon, he will push her to the limit, and she must decide:
to remain quiet and submit, or to take her revenge.
The Poet is a portrait of a toxic relationship, about coercive control, class
and privilege: it is also a passionate, page-turning tale of female solidarity and survival.
Written in verse and charged with passion and anger, The Poet is a portrait of a deeply dysfunctional relationship, exploring coercive control, class and privilege. It is also a page-turning tale of female solidarity and survival.
The Poet gives a unique perspective as to how a story about life can be told, in that it is presented in verse inside its evocative cover. It’s a book that may prompt/provoke strong feelings to come to the fore.
There’s rawness, strong emotion, the harshness of life being challenging with a relationship being toxic and coercive control, with a softer tone of something beautiful in nature, a cat and female solidarity.
It looks great on a page, the way the words are set out to get their point across, but I also think it would be great being performed like “street/performance poetry”. There are elements that I imagined would sound great being said aloud, with its light and dark, with the shades inbetween.
The book is powerful, thought-provoking, sometimes soft, sometimes fierce with rage in its universally current themes.
There’s the idea of love, of how things could be for Emma in her relationship with Tom, then comes the searing reality of how the so called romance actually is, with a distinct creepy chill that is sure to run down any reader’s bones to see how his charm changes and turns bad, which has consequences and effects as the writing shows what someone coercing a lover can do and what happens next as a result.
There are places where it turns a corner, into how to survive and female solidarity that has some strength to it.
Overall it is an exquisitely written book.
About the Author
Louisa Reid has lived in Cambridge, London and Zurich, and now lives near Manchester. She graduated with a degree in English from Oxford before training as an English teacher at Cambridge University and she continues to work as a teacher. Louisa is the author of four novels for young adults: Black Heart Blue and Gloves Off were both nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.