The Poet by Louisa Reid
WHEN YOU CANT MOVE OR BREATH UNTIL YOU FINISH EVERY WORD – AKA READ THIS IMMEDIATELY
This. Book. Is. Phenomenal. PHENOMENAL. There were moments I had physical reactions, jumping up & dancing around with it. I furiously tabbed, swipe for fave quotes. It’s so good I’m worried I won’t do it justice in a mere caption. Released today in paperback (link in stories), I am annoyed at myself that I didn’t read it sooner. This is a tale about toxic love, female rage & sexism in academia, executed perfectly.
“Give me the confidence of a mediocre white man
who thinks he has the right to
a woman’s work –
and womb –
and everything else”
PREACH. The Poet is a startlingly unique novel in verse, the author @louisareid is somehow able to distil the most brilliant, razor sharp observations & create a propulsive story in a fraction of the words.
Emma is an impressionable, brilliant student in Oxford who becomes embroiled in an intense & passionate affair with Tom, her brooding, revered professor. He isolates & undermines her, committing an act of betrayal forcing Emma to evaluate everything.
Reid encapsulates the brazen arrogance, inherent privilege & rampant sexism in the highest echelons of academia, both today & historically. The relationship is an excellent vehicle to explore classism, coercion & disparity of power. Tom is the archetype for men who exploit their status, pitted against the insecure young student trying to reinvent herself.
I loved the structure, it portrayed Emma’s fragmented, racing thoughts & created a fast pace. The ending was so satisfying I just sat there & luxuriated in it. The academic elements & literary references elevated this but the balance was struck well, it’s accessible to allow a broad range of reader to enjoy without feeling inaccessible or pretentious.
This book should be everywhere. Read it. Honestly I’m going to again, even though my house is overflowing with unread books. Take a bow @louisareid & for the love of G-d keep on writing. You honour every woman who has been intimidated or overlooked with this one. C