The Poet


I believe every word you say. That was always my mistake.

Bright, promising Emma is entangled in a toxic romance with her old professor – and she’s losing control.

Cruel, charming Tom is idolized by his students and peers – confident he holds all the cards.

In their small Oxford home, he manipulates and undermines her 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.

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.

When Anne Cater let me know about the Blog Tour, for The Poet, I bit her hand off. I so intrigued by the premise and the fact that it was going to be realised in verse – I actually read it in full the day I received it, my anticipation had really reached fever pitch and I couldn’t wait any longer. Let me just tell you that The Poet definitely did not disappoint.

The cover is absolutely stunning and hints at the beauty and fragility within the heart of this story and Emma’s beauty and fragiity as she blossoms and blooms through these pages – if you are a fan of top-quality writing, you’ll discover much to admire here and I feel that it will be a real palate cleanser for those of you looking like something really different to make you think, feel and respond to

I love a book where things are not quite as they seem and I’d have to say that once I was 15 minutes into this fascinating and original read I was absolutely invested and could not stop reading. It is rare to be able to dedicate a whole day to reading at this time of the year if you are a teacher – never mind in the middle of exams But this book had me hooked and I just could not stop once I joined Emma and got an insight into her unforgettable story, in such a unique way. I really want to chat with someone else who’s read it now as I am keen to see if their thoughts aligned with mine as the story unfolded. It is an absolutely wonderful read and I promise you that you won’t be able to stop thinking about this situation, these people and Louise Reed’s wonderful narrative voice as you immerse yourself in this tale

The diversity of books being published at the moment means that nowadays writers have to think outside the box if they want their readers to be genuinely captivated – and Louis Reed manages this with skill and originality. I was captivated by these characters and their circumstances and thought that this fresh treatment of coercive control and dysfunctional relationships is one that a diverse range of readers could meet in their own way and get a lot out of – it would make an amazing book group read and its unique construction will definitely be a talking point as well as its very topical subject matter

I absolutely love a book where we are challenged as well as captivated and without a doubt, you soon become aware that there’s more to this unfolding narrative than meets the eye. The way that the relationship is evoked in such a cleverly layered way made for compelling reading that ensures that you take nothing for granted– something else that sets her aside from other more run-of-the-mill writers. The story that is uncovered is all the more affecting as we care about the people it’s happening to. Emma’s situation and everything that starts to be revealed about the truth about the unraveling situation is much more effective because we actually feel that we’ve got to know her as a real person and see her real response to everything about the situation she finds herself so irrevocably caught up in.

As I said, I read this in a single day, being utterly loath to drag myself away from the beauty of the writing and the situation that we are drawn into. I love books that are even better than the one you’ve been anticipating and I have to say that this was definitely my read of the month – it was just so unique. This book really takes you on a journey alongside Emma – you know that there’s more going on below the surface as soon as you start reading and can’t look away as the story takes you with her to a really challenging place that will have you cheering her on as she decides to turn the tables in a way you cannot look away from

Buy yourself a copy here and experience its splendour for yourself!

Don’t just take my word for it either – check out these reviews

This is the book I have always needed, it is F*****G BRILLIANT and everyone should read it. ― Nikita Gill

A beautiful, biting page-turner… is it any different for young women, these days? Reid’s novel provides — as the best fiction does — a nuanced, thought provoking answer to this question. ― Irish Times

Brisk, disturbing and very satisfying ― Daily Mail

Brilliant and beautifully written. It’ll have you raging and rejoicing till the very last page. ― Manjeet Mann, winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2021

I devoured it both as a breath-taking, page-turning novel on betrayal and a series of startling poems, chiselled from bone. The Poet is going to e x p l o d e into 2022 and leave us all spilt and shuddering! Astounding book.― Helen Paris

A novel in verse about poetry, female desire and achievement, gender politics and revenge, it weeps, rages and triumphs in words as exquisite as emotion. Loved it. ― Julie Cohen

A thunderstorm of female power with nods to the greatest poets of all time. Drop everything and read. ― Ericka Waller

Writer On The Shelf

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.

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