Nobody’s Secret: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance by Michaela MacColl

Nobody's SecretInspired by the poem, I’m nobody! Who are you?, written by Emily Dickinson, Michaela MacColl brings to life a fictional mystery about Mr. Nobody. We are introduced to a spunky, intelligent, and very observant Emily Dickinson as she seeks to experience life, or in this case a bee landing on her nose, when she meets the mysteriously intriguing Mr. Nobody. Soon thereafter, he’s found floating in the Dickinson’s pond.

From her few conversations with Mr. Nobody and the clues she finds upon his death, Emily knows that he did not drown, accidental or otherwise. Everyone including the doctor and the reverend are convinced he did. Emily takes it upon herself to find out who Mr. Nobody was and why and how he died. Like any great detective, she sees what others do not and has the fortitude to find the truth no matter what.

Emily Dickinson is one of the greatest poets of the 19th Century and with this novel, MacColl gives a peek into the mind and life of a young fifteen-year-old Emily. Her younger sister, Lavinia “Vinnie”, plays a part in solving the mystery with her sister. Both as partner and keeper to make sure Emily doesn’t overexert herself (or get into any trouble!). Often Vinnie is left to do the household chores on her own, whilst Emily escapes to write or investigate. The Dickinson household is an economical one. Why purchase items, material or food, if you can make it yourself. This is what Mrs. Dickinson instills in her daughters so they can one day manage their own household. However, Emily longs to write and live her life free from chores. She hides a notebook in her corset to put to paper her random thoughts, which will later turn into poems. (more…)