Synopsis from Goodreads:
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…
While the first few chapters started out a tiny bit slow, I really, really liked this book. I became a little bit of an Edgar Allan Poe fan when I was young (weird, I know), so this story about what might have happened in his relationship with Frances Osgood is an interesting escape into “history.” While Mrs. Poe is not a true story, no one really knows the extent of Edgar Allan Poe & France Osgood’s relationship. Quite a few interesting specifics are pulled from history and woven into the story. That always adds a little something extra to novels like this one. I hate to give away much of the what happens in the book, but the twists and turns throughout the story definitely kept me guessing. If you’re a fan of entertaining historical fiction novels, I’d say give this one a try. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.
March Reading Update
Since checking Mrs. Poe off of my reading list, I’ve started reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Last weekend, for our Friday night “date,” Stephen and I went to the bookstore to get something new to read. Surprisingly, when I started searching for this one, I found it in the History section. I thought I’d picked another historical fiction novel, but it seems that this one is completely true. This one is centered around the 1893 Chicago World’s fair, the architect who built it, and the serial killer who haunted it. Doesn’t that sound like a great novel? It. Really. Happened. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m hooked. This one is going to take a little time to get through, though.
I’m also hoping to have time to read the March book selection for the “blogger book club” that I’m a part of. This month’s selection is The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews. This is definitely the kind of book that I wouldn’t normally choose to read, so we’ll see how it goes!
What have you read & enjoyed (or not enjoyed) lately? I’m always looking for books to add to my reading list!