Book Review: The Poet's Secret by Kenneth Zak.

I was introduced to The Poet’s Secret with the hook that if I enjoyed The English Patient--I would enjoy this book.  The English Patient is my all time favorite book (and movie) ever--so if this book was remotely similar in quality and form--I was certainly interested in reading and reviewing it.  What did I think of The Poet’s Secret by Kenneth Zak?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of The Poet’s Secret.  In The Poet’s Secret, young lit student Elia Aloundra sets off to a remote Caribbean island in search of the reclusive poet Cameron Beck, longing to know the man whose words move her so. What she doesn’t know is that as her quest begins, Beck is perched atop a cliff on his exotic island hideaway and about to attempt suicide. Elia soon finds herself swept up in the mystery surrounding his muse, but what she cannot fathom is that Beck’s secret will change both their lives forever. An island tale filled with mystical sea turtles and sunken treasure, The Poet’s Secret was conceived in a mountaintop village on the Greek isle of Crete while the author was on a three­-year sabbatical. For every copy of The Poet’s Secret sold, $1 will also be donated to The Surfrider Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the earth’s oceans, waves and beaches.

The Poet’s Secret is told from a 3rd Person Perspective.   9 times out of 10--I prefer a 3rd person narrative in the books I read.  There is so much more opportunity to learn about the thoughts and perspectives of the all-important supportive characters in such a book.  When the narrator is sharing his point of view--the reader is left with more questions than answers at times--and those supporting characters aren't able to live up to their potential.  Zak develops a much more complete story with this 3-part narrative from his three main characters.

The Poet’s Secret is a story that readers will not be able to put down.  I was drawn immediately into the storyline and the characters' lives.  I became invested in their stories--and simply found the book nearly impossible to set aside.  I needed to follow the story to its end.  This book is a romance--but, a life story as well--and it is a full story with readers sharing the opportunity to revisit the past with the story's characters and share in the present as each one shared perspectives and events.

Would I recommend The Poet’s Secret by Kenneth Zak. Zak does a wonderful job bringing readers into the setting and surrounding readers with the story.   While this book was not as compelling as The English Patient for me--it was still a very good book.  I felt that Zac handled the transitions between characters well to limit confusion although each one was not given individual voices.  If you love a well rounded romance with a human element, detailed settings and something more than dialogue driven text--this book was very well written with well developed characters and well placed scenes. 

Buy on Amazon.

 About the Author:
Born in Parma, Ohio, Kenneth Zak is an aquatic nomad of Bohemian-Polish ancestry.  He shut down a successful law practice and embarked on a 3 year personal pilgrimage traveling the globe in quest of a deeper purpose.  He unleashed his creative self in a mountaintop village in Crete where he began his debut novel, The Poet’s Secret, continuing work on the manuscript and his poetry in Bali, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia and South America.

His poem “Two Bits” from The Poet’s Secret previously appeared in Kelp Magazine.  His short fiction “A Promise” has appeared in A Year in Ink, San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology, Volume 4, and his short story “Thea” appeared in A Year in Ink, San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology, Volume 8.  His contributed articles have appeared in Luxe Beat Magazine and The Ohio State University Alumni digital magazine and he has appeared on Frommer’s The Travel Show.

His other passions include reading, music, surfing, ocean swimming, free diving, the Tibetan Rites and yoga. He currently resides in San Diego, California.

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