Mrs. Poe – a Review

A love triangle surrounded by mystery and suspense makes for a thrilling historical fiction novel. One of the best known writers of the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe, falls in love with a struggling female poet, Frances Osgood. But Poe is already married, and his young wife insists on befriending the woman her husband is involved with.  What could go wrong?

Mrs. PoeNew York City is full of life. Some of this life is talented, some is dangerous, and some is rather smelly. Livestock run the streets that are full of garbage. Poverty and crime are rampant. And Manhattan’s Central Park is being developed. This is where those talented in writing, painting, music, and acting go.

Edgar Allen Poe is quite the rage in New York City at the moment. He has just written “The Raven”, and people are wild over it. They have parties where he is the guest of honor and reads this poem.To hear him read “The Raven” would have been an awesome thing for me. I am not fond of poetry, yet I do like this one. From its haunting words, I chose my daughter’s middle name, Lenore.

Back to the book now. Frances Osgood is a struggling poet. Her cheating husband has left her and been gone for quite some time, yet she is still expected to be faithful to him. This leaves her lonely. When the chance arises for her to meet the famous Edgar Allen Poe, she jumps at it. What she doesn’t realize before she meets him is that once they meet each other, her life will forever be changed.

She becomes so much closer to dark and mysterious Poe than she means to. She is flattered when she discovers that he, the great Edgar Allen Poe, admires her simple poetry. An attraction turns to flirtation that turns to seduction. It doesn’t take long for the seduction to turn into an affair, a thing greatly frowned upon by society.

Then Poe’s frail, sickly wife wants to meet her. Does she suspect the attraction that exists between her husband and Frances? Strange things begin to happen to Frances, things that could be accidents, but these things could have caused her death or serious injury. She suspects Mrs. Poe of being behind these things, but is she? Frances begins to fear for her life.

The tension and suspense builds to a screaming crescendo towards the end of the story. Frances is in danger of losing her life. Will the one behind the accidents be stopped before the very last one has a fatal effect?

This great historical fiction novel gave me a look into the life of Edgar Allen Poe. Wanting to find out what happens kept you turning the pages until I reached the end. I hope this doesn’t give anything away, but I was never sure of the identity of the one trying to kill Frances until I was very close to the end of the book.

I bought my copy of this book from Amazon. If you would like your own copy of Mrs. Poe to read and enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: Mrs. Poe

Recommended Articles:
The Creation of Eve – a Review
Reign of Madness – a Review
Lynn Cullen Interview – Sofonisba Anguissola, Juana the Mad, and Historical Fiction
I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter – a Review

Favorite Sentences:
Whether by design or accident, one large curl had escaped the mass and now dangled upon his forehead like a gelatinous fishhook.

What if a beautiful woman who had lost her teeth due to illness forced her maid to give up her own teeth and had them implanted her gums, only to find that she was starting to think and speak like the maid. . .?

In one of the busiest cities in the world, they seemed to exist on a bleak island of their own making, their backs turned against the social tide lapping at their battered door.

Yet why did I feel like I was making a bargain with Rumpelstiltskin, with my firstborn in the balance?

Is there an aphrodisiac more powerful than forbidden fruit hanging just out of reach?

New Words Learned:
ailanthus trees  – Called the “tree of heaven,” this is the tree in the 1943 novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Native to China, this tree was exported from China to England in the 1750s, and introduced to the United States in 1784.

croton bugs – cockroaches

daguerrotype, wikipedia

daguerrotype, wikipedia

daguerreotypist – a photographer who used an obsolete photographic process, invented in 1839, in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapor

decanted – transferred

effusive  – unduly demonstrative; lacking reserve

frisson – a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill

groggery – a usually low-class barroom

landau – a four-wheeled, two-seated carriage with a top made in two parts that may be let down or folded back

macadam – a road made of broken stone

miasma – a noxious atmosphere

phaeton, wikimedia commons

phaeton, wikimedia commons

phaeton – any of various light, four-wheeled carriages, with or without a top, having one or two seats facing forward, used in the 19th century

phrenology – a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull

tilbury – a  light two-wheeled carriage without a top

lynn-cullen-239x300About the Author:
Lynn Cullen is the author of The Creation of Eve, named among the best fiction books of 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as an April 2010 Indie Next selection. She is also the author of numerous award-winning books for children, including the young adult novel I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter, which was a 2007 Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and an ALA Best Book of 2008. Her novel, Reign of Madness, is about Juana the Mad, daughter of the Spanish Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand.

  1 comment for “Mrs. Poe – a Review

  1. Lynn Cullen
    July 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you for your kind and interesting examination of my book, Lisa. I love how you educate and entertain while reviewing. With the added bonus of vocabulary and favorite sentence sections, this was a review to savor. Thank you again. I so appreciate your support!

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