Edgar Allan Poe is remembered in a variety of ways…poet, author, drunkard, madman, literary critic with bombastic tendencies and economic failure. In 1845, however, his poem “The Raven” was a smashing success and his star seemed thoroughly on the rise. Poet and children’s author Frances Sargent Osgood is experiencing the opposite. Abandoned by her husband and struggling to support her children, Frances makes the acquaintance of Mr. Poe at a literary gathering. Drawn together, the two struggle with their feelings for one another, feelings that are only complicated when Poe’s wife initiates a friendship with Frances.
Although the Poe Society denies that there was ever more than friendship between Poe and Osgood, Lynn Cullen presents a highly researched and plausible story of their involvement. Beautifully written and filled with glimpses of the literary lights of the time, Cullen draws us into a story of doomed attraction with such skill that you nearly forget that you already know the ending. Cullen does an excellent job of keeping her characters within the social proprieties of the time while not skimping on the emotional connection the characters feel. As the story progresses, you begin to realize that this connection may, in time, put Frances in as much danger as many of Poe’s characters. I found this book nearly impossible to put down and I’m certain other readers will feel the same way.
“Mrs. Poe” is scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster in October of 2013. If you’re looking for a great read, go ahead and pre-order “Mrs. Poe.” I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!