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The Little Book of Poems

   (8 reviews)
Cover and inscription on flyleaf of book

Fictional story exploring the inscription inside the cover of a book of poems published in 1929.

The book is real. The dedication is real. All else is fictional, but I hope it sounds plausible. I really enjoyed researching World War Two British submarines and the Royal Navy College. The third vignette verges on the supernatural, although not very deeply.
Copyright © 2023 Secret Author; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (5 members)

  • Action Packed 3
  • Addictive/Pacing 5
  • Characters 5
  • Chills 3
  • Cliffhanger 1
  • Compelling 4
  • Feel-Good 1
  • Humor 0
  • Smoldering 2
  • Tearjerker 3
  • Unique 3
  • World Building 2

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Table of Contents
  • 1. Chapter 1
    • 17,291 Words

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   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

I enjoyed this and recommend it. It's well written and a bit of a rollercoaster of emotion as we move with the book through different owners.

Definitely add to your reading list!


A little aside: i love how some readers saw evil in this little book. It's part of what i like about GA, the comments and what readers may see that i often do not. It's great.

Response from the author:

Thank you for your review, @Mikiesboy! Re your aside (I love how some readers saw evil in this little book) - I didn't see it that way, either.

I considered the book to be an inanimate object that was invested with significance by its owner, just as a poem is only ink on paper until someone reads it and gives it meaning. In fact, that's exactly how I regard the little book, which is on the desk in front me at this moment. To anyone else, it's just a book, and not even a particularly interesting one since few people like poetry (or even physical books) these days, but to me it was the inspiration for the story I wrote.

I guess the scene where the book "chose" Alice planted the idea that it had agency. When I wrote that, I intended that Alice randomly picked the book because she was in love and desperate, so she gullibly believed anything that the bookseller or Mrs Flowery said. As soon as I wrote that, I realized I was channeling Harry Potter!

I love how we writers learn about our stories and their impact on readers here at GA. If I sold a book in a bookstore, I would never know anything about what the reader thinks or infers from it. Here, thanks to the generosity of commenters and reviewers, I get an insight that is unique and wonderful. Thank you to all who commented and reviewed!

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   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

This one took me by surprise. Well-crafted and thought out. It's a unique spin on the concept of "if only these walls could talk." Instead of walls, it's a book of poems that gives us a glimpse of the lives of those who possess it over the course of several decades. 

That being said, the book may bring happiness to those who read its poems, but it also may have a sinister side. 

Well done!

Response from the author:

Thank you for the review. It was quite a stretch for me to write this, but I'm glad with how it turned out. I'm sure it would have been even better if I hadn't written it in the last week of the contest, which meant that my faithful beta reader didn't add her always helpful touch!

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Gary L

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

This is easily my favourite story in the SA list.  Our protagonist is a small book, our story is how it passes from owner to owner. Was it dear Carlos H who did something similar with a car?  I’m sure he would have loved this.

don’t let the word count put you off, this is a great read and gets my vote for the best of a great collection of stories.  A big thank you to all of the contributors 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

Response from the author:

Thanks for the encouraging words @Gary L. For a "short" story, the word count falls about in the middle of the pack, although it was one of the longest in the Secret Author contest. I'm grateful that you and many others persisted in reading and enjoyed the four themes built around the little book.

  • Like 1
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Dan South

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

Read this…

So…a potentially powerful, power-filled and deadly book of poetry passes through generations of ownership. The power of the poetry’s undeniable. Entirely non-fiction, the words, the meanings, The provenance undeniable. Shakespeare and more. The book is real. Really!

The path and trajectory of this single volume, book, unit of publication, will take you on an amazing journey.

Read this…



Response from the author:

Wow! Thanks, @Dan South, for the enthusiastic recommendation. I have to say, I was so wrapped up in holding the story together that I entirely missed the sinister aspect. I think I just saw the book as a harmless inanimate object, although I realize it "chose" at least one of its owners. I wonder where it's headed next--I say that, holding the actual inscribed volume in my shaking hands!

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· Edited by drsawzall

   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover. In this story about a book of poems, as it passes through through the hands of various owners, through the decades, we vicariously see how others lived and loved as they owned the book...

Response from the author:

Thank you for the review @drsawzall. I included a photo of the book's cover and inscription once it was released from the contest, and I have to agree with you--it looks pretty mundane, a little dated, and frankly not all that interesting. But it's what's inside the cover (and inside us) that gives it significance, as Alberto told Carlos.

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Bill W

   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

Don't be confused by the title.  This isn't a book OF poems, but rather a story ABOUT a book of poems.  This little book falls into the hands of four different people and we get to see how it effects their lives.  It was an interesting read and I highly recommend it. 

Response from the author:

Thanks for the recommendation, @Bill W. I'm glad you enjoyed the stories.


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   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

A wonderful set of stories that are all interlinked because of a book of poetry published in 1929.

There are moments of sadness, playfulness and happiness.

Response from the author:

I am grateful for your review, @chris191070. It was a bit rushed, just as the deadline loomed, but it was fun to write and to read the comments and reviews. I have another short story in the works -- totally different from this one (in fact, more typical of my "style" of writing). I hope you'll check it out,too.

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   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

This is a very well written set of short vignettes connected by loss of love and an small antique book of poems owned by many diverse people.  There are both happy, fun, sad and tragic moments all wonderfully written.  It is a very unique concept that was expertly executed. 

Response from the author:

You're right @raven1, it was a "unique" story for me, and it was a stretch as much as it was fun to write. I'm so glad I bit the bullet and entered it into the SA contest because it forced me to meet a deadline and venture into unfamiliar writing territory.

  • Like 2
  • Love 7
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