Monday, August 26, 2013

MRS. POE by Lynn Cullen

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.

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: October 1st 2013 by Gallery Books (first published September 10th 2013)

First line
"When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping from their fingers to the carpet, their hair falling prettily from its pins, their fourteen starched petticoats compacting with a plush crunch."

Three things about this book:
1. Depressing
2. Bleak
3. Edgar Allen Poe

Franny's husband has left her alone in the world with no money and two children. A dear friend invites Franny's little family to live with them. Someone in society has decided to put on artistic gatherings where rich and poor alike can mingle and enjoy educational presentations. Franny goes and there she meets the mystery author of "THE RAVEN" whom everyone raves about.
Franny soon falls in love with "Eddie" who happens to be married. It seems he shares her affections. And while they try to be discreet with their outward demonstrations, many see through their hidings, even Poe's wife. 
Ms. Cullen had a good way of keeping the reader wondering about the sanity of the main three characters. I was also pulled in by the literary scene in New York 1845. Franny drops names through out the story from this era (like Louisa May Alcott), which I thought was fun. But overall, this book is a bit depressing. No one really gets what they want.
The ending was sad but justified.
Readers have to remember that this story is fiction, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Rating: PG 17
L: No
S: Kissing, affair
V: No

Interesting story


31/2 STARS

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