Monday, October 27, 2014

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

Publication: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Publisher

A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife.

It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve.

She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married.

As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. And Mrs. Poe, who acts like an innocent child, is actually more manipulative and threatening than she appears. As Frances and Edgar’s passionate affair escalates, Frances must decide whether she can walk away before it’s too late...

Set amidst the fascinating world of New York’s literati, this smart and sexy novel offers a unique view into the life of one of history’s most unforgettable literary figures.

Mrs. Poe tells the story of Fanny Osgood and Edgar Allan Poe’s supposed affair. My sister is a huge Poe fan, and I love some of his works. When I saw this story, my interest was immediately piqued.  

The story does revolve around Edgar Allan Poe, his wife  Virginia Poe, and Fanny Osgood.  Edgar’s wife was interesting his first cousin and also quite a few years younger than him. 14 years younger to be exact.  They actually married when Poe was 27 and Virginia was 13, which is a little bit disturbing.  Several years after being married Virginia becomes sick. In this story she is painted as appearing to be fragile and childlike, but instead she is a conniving and even hostile towards Fanny.

Fanny and Poe first cross paths when she is invited to a literary event. She catches Poe’s eye and they discover that they have several things in common. Fanny does a lot of back and forth with her feelings about Poe. She wonders should she risk a scandal and be with him or if she should just keep away from him and continue on with her husband.

“I knew that I should dislike the man, should fear him, should keep my distance at all costs. I knew that I would not.”

This story is not a biography of Poe’s life like some people might think. The author interweaves history along with some facts and fiction.  Mrs. Poe  gives the reader a glimpse of life in New York during the mid 1800’s which I found pretty interesting. Even though I found the story interesting, I wasn’t able to get that into it as I would like. I think I was expecting more suspense and less romance for some reason. Though it was neat to see a different spin on Poe’s life and personal relationships. If you are interested in all things Edgar Allan Poe then Mrs. Poe might be worth a consideration.

RATING: 3 out of 5.


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1 comment:

  1. I like Poe and I like a good historical fiction. :)