Nobody’s Secret

Nobody's SecretNEW on shelves this week…

Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl

3 of 5 stars

Young Emily Dickinson tries to discover who has murdered the young stranger who caught her attention and asked to simply be called “Mr. Nobody.”

Mr. Nobody had met the real Emily Dickinson, with all of her unconventionality, and he had liked her for it.  It was up to her to find out his name, and how he came to be floating facedown in her pond.

I certainly wouldn’t claim to be a poetry buff, but I remember reading Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody” poem and enjoying it, so when I heard about this book, I had to read it.

In a story that’s Sherlock Holmes-meets-Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author explores the real-life Emily Dickinson’s teen years by placing her in a fictitious murder investigation, and weaves in lines from her poetry that take on a whole new meaning in the story’s unique, imaginative context.

The biggest downside, though, was that the ‘mystery’ was rather obvious.  There’s only so many suspects, and there are some pretty major clues given rather early on that pretty much only left the question of some details of the killing — the who and why and how could all be determined fairly early on by a careful reader.

Overall: A fun, quick mix of mystery, poetry, and history.

Other fiction based on the lives of real people:
Garden of Madness The Dressmaker Iscariot The Map of Time The Help


About WNK

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