Review of The Secret Poet by Georgia Beers
Some characters are such complete sweethearts that all you want to do is take them in your arms and protect them from all that’s ugly in the world. Not because they need to be protected – they’re usually very good at doing it themselves, whether they realise it or not – but because they’re so precious you don’t want them to hurt for even a second. Sam in KJ’s Coming Home is one of those. Abby in The Perfect Match by Milena McKay too. I’m now adding Morgan to my list.
Morgan is kind of clueless sometimes because she’s unaware of how wonderful she is. So of course she’ll believe the new gorgeous pharmaceutical rep would be interested in her handsome brother the doctor rather than in her. And because she loves her brother and wants him to get over his broken heart, she’ll do anything to help him get the girl. Including writing his texts to her. Including composing little poems on his behalf and being the Cyrano to his Christian. Including ignoring her own feelings for Zoe.
I feel I should warn you: this is the kind of story where I have to stop reading every couple of pages to remember to breathe. You’d think I’d have trouble breathing when reading thrillers or fast-paced exciting action books but no, romance is what does it for me. I love most genres but the one that gets to me deepest is romance. My heart ached so hard for Morgan.
The story is told in first person from Morgan’s point of view. Morgan has pretty low self-esteem and I hurt for her but it wasn’t too painful to read, thanks to the humour Georgia Beers injected. I love that this book at times reads as if Morgan was telling her story directly to the reader. Beers didn’t overdo it and I was there for it.
Back to Morgan: she’s the baby of the family, the unexpected child with two much older brothers she’s looked up to all her life. Going to work for her brother Perry right out of college may have been convenient but it also made her his employee, therefore not his equal, and she never really had a chance to find out who she is away from him. Her skills are not the kind that are deemed as valuable as a doctor’s, even though she excels at her job. Her love for him is obvious, and from what we’re told of their childhood, his for her is just as strong. When we meet them, however, Perry doesn’t exactly show the best side of his personality, and I’m impressed the author managed to make me understand why Morgan would do all she does for him even though he appears annoyingly self-centred and entitled.
As usual when a story is told from only one point of view, the second MC is more of a mystery. That we don’t get to know as much about Zoe as we do about Morgan doesn’t stop her from being a lovely and multilayered character. Whatever depths are kept from the reader are balanced by the tangible chemistry between her and Morgan – Morgan, with all her charming naïveté and selflessness, doesn’t recognize it as such but Zoe does. Zoe really sees Morgan. And the way Morgan sees Zoe, I could totally fall for her too.
Besides these two and Perry, there are a few other characters, the nurses at Perry’s medical practice, Morgan’s golf buddies, her parents, and, my favourites, Morgan’s best friend Stefan and her niece Brittany, the daughter of Morgan’s eldest brother.
Georgia Beers is one of the best at writing and provoking feelings and she’s one of my must-read authors. In this novel as in most of her previous ones (the ones I’ve read at any rate, I still have some on my TBR list), the characters are relatable and lovely. They’re not perfect, they make mistakes, they overreact, but they’re good people and I want them to be happy. I didn’t want this book to end, I wanted to stay in the warm feelings it brought for as long as possible. I can’t wait for the audiobook and the opportunity to get to know these characters again, in a different way.