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Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl

Nobody's Secret (edition 2013)

by Michaela MacColl

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9925122,024 (3.63)5
Title:Nobody's Secret
Authors:Michaela MacColl
Info:San Francisco, Calif. : Chronicle Books, 2013.
Collections:Your library, Mysteries/Crime, JP/JF/YA
Tags:Emily Dickinson, mystery, 1845, Amherst, 13 in 13, ER

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Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl


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One day, fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a mysterious, handsome young man. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with Mr. "Nobody" until he turns up dead in her family's pond. She's stricken with guilt. Only Emily can discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he's condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, this novel celebrates Emily Dickinson's intellect and spunk in a page-turner of a book that will excite fans of mystery, romance, and poetry alike.
  lkmuir | Nov 23, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
To be fair to this book, I feel like I need to mention two possible prejudices on my part. One is that I read very little realistic YA -- that is, non fantasy/dystopian. So it's obviously not my wheelhouse. The other is that while I do read a lot of historical fiction, including historical crime fiction, I really don't like novels where the protagonist is 1) a real historical figure of note and 2) solves crimes. It just seems like Queen Elizabeth or Jane Austen ... or in this case, Emily Dickinson, were interesting enough people in their own right that turning them into detectives seems a bit silly. I don't mind real historical figures showing up in historical fiction. But I'd prefer they do things that they plausibly would have done.

So this book was not really my thing. But I don't think it's a bad book and I might have liked it quite a bit when I was 12 or so. I do worry about impressionable youngsters forming their image of Emily Dickinson based on this story .... But then, I suppose I should be glad any impressionable youngsters would be exposed to Dickinson at all. And just maybe some of them would be interested enough to read more of her poetry and find out more about her real life, which is plenty interesting without the need for her to solve crimes. ( )
  keywestnan | Jul 4, 2015 |
A great mix of historical fiction and mystery in this story featuring a teenage Emily Dickinson as the protagonist and her poetry central to the story. A clever, engaging novel. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very interesting book. I would say it was appropriate for middle school and up. I enjoyed the mystery although I would have also enjoyed a little more of the love story before the main death occurred. ( )
  LisaMP | Nov 5, 2013 |
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To Rowan, who prefers more crows in her murders
First words
Emily lay perfectly still, hidden in the tall grass, her eyes closed tight.
I'm nobody! Who are you?/Are you nobody too?/Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!/They'd banish us, you know!/How dreary to be somebody!/How public like a frog -/To tell your name - the livelong day-/To an admiring bog!
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When fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a charming, enigmatic young man who playfully refuses to tell her his name, she is intrigued--so when he is found dead in her family's pond in Amherst she is determined to discover his secret, no matter how dangerous it may prove to be.… (more)

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