Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Although dark horror stories aren't usually my genre, I've always been drawn to the tales and poems of Edgar Allen Poe. So I was extremely interested when I found this book. It is a story of Poe's life and his relationship with Francis (Fanny) Osgood in New York society at the peak of Poe's success.
I read the book without reading too much of the introduction, so I didn't know if I was reading a tale that was mostly true or mostly fiction. But I was drawn into the compelling, and often dark, account of Poe, his young wife, and the author Francis Osgood who was living, along with her two young children, with friends because of her husband's abandonment. The two met at an author's gathering that was held regularly among the New York society of literary critics and authors. Francis had been put off by her first readings of Poe's macabre tales. But as she gets to know the real man behind the quick fame, an interesting relationship develops that involves herself, Poe, and Poe's young wife, Mrs. Poe.
I really enjoyed this. It was dark at times. It was romantic at times. It was a very interesting view into the lives of the literary group in New York in the early 1900s. I loved the character of Fanny Osgood. And, of course, I loved the glimpse into the life of Poe- a different look than what I had known previously.
At the end of the story, I finally read the author's notes. This story was based very closely on the author's research into Poe's life . There is some speculation about this relationship between Mrs. Osgood and Mrs. Poe. But many believe it did exist. The author admits to supplementing some details, but all in all, this account is based very much on researched events, people, and relationships. After I found that out, I was even more interested. It was an interesting and compelling read, and I am glad to have a different glimpse into the life of an author whose works draw me the way Poe's have.
Caution: There is reference to an intimate act. There is not much detail, but there is that one scene in the story.
I give this one 5 stars and an PG-13 rating.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.