A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .
Inspired by literature's most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress's tantalizing confession, and his wife's frightening obsession . . . in this "intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive" (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction.
1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new immigrants and old money, optimism and opportunity, poverty and crime. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is all the rage - the success of which a struggling poet like Frances Osgood can only dream. As a mother trying to support two young children after her husband's cruel betrayal, Frances jumps at the chance to meet the illustrious Mr. Poe at a small literary gathering, if only to help her fledgling career. Although not a great fan of Poe's writing, she is nonetheless overwhelmed by his magnetic presence - and the surprising revelation that he admires her work.
What follows is a flirtation, then a seduction, then an illicit affair . . . and with each clandestine encounter, Frances finds herself falling slowly and inexorably under the spell of her mysterious, complicated lover. But when Edgar's frail wife Virginia insists on befriending Frances as well, the relationship becomes as dark and twisted as one of Poe's tales. And like those gothic heroines whose fates are forever sealed, Frances begins to fear that deceiving Mrs. Poe may be as impossible as cheating death itself. . . .
©2013 Lynn Cullen (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
First of all, this is Poe, so it is suspenseful, and that was exactly as it should be. But for that reason, it is hard to review this without giving anything away.
So, generically I will say I am glad I read it, I did learn quite a bit about Poe and some about Mrs. Poe, and I learned even more about Fanny Osgood. Well researched and written from a historical standpoint, and the number of famous literary persons who appear in the book is pretty astounding. Some romantic scenes felt trite, but didn't ruin the book.
Bottom line: There is plenty to discuss -- with someone who has read the book. If you are into Poe, you will enjoy this, but I just know that the title is a gimmick.
I just couldn't get into this story at all. Something about it didn't make sense to me. The main character, Frances Osgood, is neither personable or likeable.
This book offers great character depictions of the "Who's Who" in 1840s and 50's New York and an enticing story with macabre elements that kept me going to see how it all ended. The portrayals of the characters is very good and the cadence of the reading is just right. It had a few "Wuthering Heights " over the top moments but it was a very enjoyable read
I'm a member of three book groups in our community and tutor immigrants who are learning English.
The main characters were flat and lifeless. The author inserted the names of famous people living at the time who did not add to the trite plot. The book is fiction rather than what I had hoped would be historically factual.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This book started slow for me. However, once you get a few chapters in you will become hooked!
I also found the information regarding women's rights and the superiority of men at the time to be very interesting and informative. The author did a good job on research.
Don't get the idea that this is a book about women's rights. It is not.
It is a love story, drama, and thriller all wrapped up into one.
As a fan of Edgar Allen Poe's writings, I was surprised to find out that what I always believed true about his life was not. The epilogue clarifies many misconceptions that I had.
While this book was interesting in that it gave a peek at the life and times of Edgar Allen Poe, it was so long and boring. It seemed to have to give every detail of every day, but never quite get to the action of the story. It seemed to tell the same story over and over. I'm honestly not sure who might like this book.
China Dolls by Lisa See
She was clear and seemed to be of the time in which the story was set. Her pronunciation and intonation were good and clear.
I think all the characters were necessary. It is the story that lagged.
Although this historical fiction book is titled, Mrs. Poe, it is really more about Mr. Poe, and his involvement with Mrs. Osgood, another poet. Somewhat tedious at time but still an interesting look at the period.
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