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The Poet's House

by Jean Thompson

The Poet's House by Jean Thompson X
The Poet's House by Jean Thompson
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  • Publishes
    Jul 12, 2022
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 15 member reviews
for The Poet's House
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  • Maureen R. (Alamo, CA)
    Poetry and Prose: A Perfect Union
    The Poet's House by Jean Thompson is a charming coming of age story about Carla, who in her twenties, has not found a comfortable nor assured fit with her life. In the space of one summer, Carla is embraced by the famous poet, Viridian and her poet friends; and a new world of experience opens. Like poetry, this book has many layers and unfolds in poignant and beautiful ways. Like prose, there is a plot and even mysteries that keep you turning the page. The Poet's House is a perfect blend of these two genres. As a resident of the Bay Area, I found the setting in Marin and San Francisco spot on. I connected with and loved every character and found the writing excellent. I highly recommend this book. I was first grabbed by the note that lovers of Lily King would like this book, and I am not disappointed. I hope to read more of Jean Thompson.
  • Helia R. (Goodlettsville, TN)
    Another gem from a favorite author
    Reading a Jean Thompson novel is like catching up with a friend you've loved for decades because she is witty and kind and endlessly curious about the human condition. She's unbothered by fads and writerly pretenses, and after spending time with her books I always feel refreshed and more hopeful about the human race.

    The Poet's House follows a twenty-something landscaper with a reading disability who discovers the power poems can hold and is consequently smitten with an elderly poet and her eccentric entourage. Her (very nice) boyfriend is less than thrilled by this development.

    Readers who like reading about writing will gobble this novel up in no time (we get to attend a writers' conference! For free!)-- but so will anyone else who enjoys fine, honest fiction.
  • Cynthia V. (New York, NY)
    A Truly Lovely Work of Fiction
    I am a Jean Thompson fan and was very much looking forward to reading her latest. It did not disappoint. The Poet's House is a very warm and welcoming work of fiction. The main character, Carla is lovably flawed. She has been trying to find herself, floating through life in a sort of contented state. This may sound like a cliched premise, but, in Thompson's hands, it is most definitely handled in a lovely, thoughtful way. I found myself reading quite slowly; I was savoring the subtleties of the writing, which truly flows and is unself-conscious. There is wonderful character development and a story that is immediately immersive. It is about the world of established and striving poetry writers, full of atmosphere and humor. However, I believe that I would be hooked regardless of that specific world. This book is a treat!
  • Barbara S. (Gig Harbor, WA)
    An intriguing look into a poet's world
    The Poet's House is a good title to read if you enjoyed Lovers and Writers or Groundskeeping. It brings the reader into the world of writers, in this case poets. I had some difficulty relating to the main character, but then realized that her nonreading habit was basically due to dyslexia and the author did a very good job explaining how the character related to the written word because of this condition. There were many intriguing characters and relationships in the book which would bring forth some interesting discussion, making this title a good pick for book clubs.
  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
    Poetry for Non-Poets
    I wasn't sure I would like this book. I am not a poet, nor do I necessarily enjoy poetry, or understand where it comes from within any poet. But I was wrong. I loved this book. Maybe it was because the main character was a young woman who is the antithesis of a poet, yet somehow found herself embedded in the world of writers and poets and managed to stumble through it and endear herself within that world, ending up with a clearer understanding of herself and who she really is. The characters were quirky, as is befitting the literary world, I think, and lovable in their own way. And the story moved along smoothly. This is the first work I have read by this author, who has written a number of novels and short stories. I will likely pick up another of her novels.
  • Leslie R. (Arlington, VA)
    Hard to review
    Usually I have no trouble expressing my opinion about a book, but this time I want to ask the other reviewers "What did you think?" I don't have a feel for whether other readers will like this book or not. What I know for sure: I was never bored; the writing was supremely readable; the narrator heroine was witty, intelligent, feisty, almost debilitatingly insecure, and totally believable.
    As a dyslexic young adult (she never uses that word), she has avoided college and works as a landscaper. Both her mother and his boyfriend try to encourage her to reach higher, but it is her chance involvement with a group of poets that helps her see herself in a different light. Her interactions with these artistic poets and writers, and with the poetry itself, change her; and in some strange way, at the end of the book I felt changed, too.
  • Lorraine D. (Lacey, WA)
    Quality, Emotion, Humor - The Poet's House Exudes It All
    What a delight it was to read this book! It has it all. Jean Thompson's characters, each distinct from one another, provide an understanding of poets, poetry, the lives of artists in general. One gets a front row seat and view of the life styles, emotions, competitiveness, and quirks of this unique group of individuals. This book will motivate some readers to pursue a greater exposure to, or understanding of, poetry in general. It is all presented in the story, enmeshed in a tale of complex relationships, and laugh out loud humor. This is a read that I have truly appreciated and will recommend to as many groups and people as possible. It prompted me to read more of Jean Thompson's novels and to "follow" her.
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