The entire book is told from the point-of-view of Frances Osgood, a poet who has to support her two daughters after her husband skips out on them. SheThe entire book is told from the point-of-view of Frances Osgood, a poet who has to support her two daughters after her husband skips out on them. She soon comes into contact with the increasingly famous writer Edgar Allan Poe and his sickly young wife Virginia. She constantly gets thrust into their world, falling more in love with Poe with each meeting, but is also becoming more concerned that Virginia is plotting against her.
I was glad to see a book focused on a now forgotten female writer, even if most of the book is focused on her relationship with Poe rather than her writing. However, I understand that a love affair with Edgar Allan Poe makes for better reading. We do get to see some of her writing, though.
While I did enjoy Mrs. Poe, there were two things that constantly bugged me throughout the book:
First, whenever Frances went to break-off the affair with Poe, it went something like this: “We must stop this. Your wife! My children!” “But I need you!” “OK!” Frances had no spine, here. It was getting frustrating.
Second, Frances kept getting into these 'accidents' and it almost started to get comical. Even at the end of the book, when I found out the story behind all these incidents, I still thought it was a bit much.
Other than that, like I said, I enjoyed the book very much. It was a fast and engaging read. The spirit of 1840s New York was perfectly captured; the sights, sounds, people, everything....more
I just loved this book so much that I had to write something about it.
The book is told from the point-of-view of Francesca, the daughter of an EnglishI just loved this book so much that I had to write something about it.
The book is told from the point-of-view of Francesca, the daughter of an English father and an Italian mother. Francesca's mother died in childbirth, and she grew up in England not knowing her mother's family, for she was disowned when she ran away with Francesca's father and defied her own father.
When Francesca's father dies when she is 17, her mother's family suddenly pops up, when her grandfather sends her cousin Andrea to fetch her and have her brought to Italy.
The story takes place in 1860, in the midst of Italy's strive for Independence. Roaming the land is the mysterious Falcon, a man who is leading the rebels, and causing lots of problems for the military.
I won't reveal the identity of the Falcon, of course, but the author was very brilliant in making me undecided between two characters. One minute I would think it was one character, and then something would happen and I would think it was the other. However, at one point in the book I started to think about events that happened in the earlier parts of the book, and came to a conclusion and stuck with it. No matter what happened, I was convinced that THIS person was the Falcon, and I ended up being right.
When I was finished, I ended up going back and rereading parts with this character, looking to see if there where things that he said and did that should have tipped me off. Of course, now that I know who he is, things became obvious, but they were subtle the first time around.
I'm going to reveal some things that made me come to the conclusion of the Falcon. I will put these under a spoiler, of course.
(view spoiler)[ Obviously, the only two people who were viable candidates for the identity of the Falcon were Andrea and Stefano. I immediately thought it was Andrea at first, which is probably what a lot of people thought, but as I started getting further into the book, I wasn't so sure.
Andrea was hot-headed and rash, unlike the Falcon. And I thought it was the intention of the author to make us all think it was him, but I started to have my doubts.
I came to the conclusion that it was Stefano when Francesca was helping the Falcon to the tombs. She thought it was Andrea because she could kind of see him through the mask, and saw the birthmark on his chest, but then I remembered earlier in the book when Stefano rescued her from the tombs when her grandfather locked her in. She thought he was Andrea, and at the beginning of the book it was remarked how Andrea and Stefano looked similar. Of course, the author used Stefano's disability as a ruse, and that's how I saw it. It wasn't long before I figured he was faking it. And what a good ruse it was.
When Stefano popped up the day after Francesca left the Falcon in the tombs, injured from his wounds, I started to have my doubts, but when Andrea returned home, I changed my mind again. I KNEW it was Stefano, I just knew it, but it was driving me nuts because I couldn't figure out how the hell he was sitting there after everything had happened. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The Young Clementina was surprisingly engaging and wonderful. It's the story of Charlotte who, after the man she loves man she loves marries her sisteThe Young Clementina was surprisingly engaging and wonderful. It's the story of Charlotte who, after the man she loves man she loves marries her sister, flees to London for the next 12 years. She returns only to take care of her niece after a divorce and the child's father's death.
She finds the niece an odd child, who she has trouble bonding with. After a bit of time, the two find common ground. Charlotte finds that she is learning more about herself through the care of her niece and her new position as lady of a grand manor.
In many ways, this book was a typical book set in the English countryside, but sometimes it read almost modern. Sometimes, I almost thought it was a modern-written historical fiction book until I would come across a trope used during books written during the time.
I only had a few complaints: one was the treatment of Charlotte's sister Kitty, but that was one of the kind of tropes I was talking about. The other complaint I had was that the ending felt sort of rushed and the story ended abruptly, only left for us to wonder how the characters went on after the extraordinary last few pages.
Anyway, I loved Charlotte's voice and am a little disappointed that her story doesn't continue in other books....more
A great collection of shorts stories featuring all kinds of different heroines. With stories ranging from Ancient Rome to the 1970s, and even a storyA great collection of shorts stories featuring all kinds of different heroines. With stories ranging from Ancient Rome to the 1970s, and even a story set in the future, we were met with realistic heroines, flaws and all.
Some stories had characters that were entirely fictional, others were based on women who actually existed, famous or not. Some stories were even based on the author's own family member. Whether the heroine made strides in world affairs, or just strides in her own home, she was admirable.
Also noticeable was the fact that were met heroines who were from all walks of life: different classes, races, etc. This was a refreshing change.
There's something here for everyone. Every woman should be able to connect with the women written about here....more
I echo the sentiments of other reviewers: this is very different from the first book.
First of all, this book takes place almost entirely in France, duI echo the sentiments of other reviewers: this is very different from the first book.
First of all, this book takes place almost entirely in France, during the time of Napoleon III, where Katharine goes to search for Lane. Second of all, the story takes place over a wider area, whereas the first book took place in a confined area of a small town.
Intrigue ensues, with shady characters, royal secrets, and the like. New characters pop up, who I quite like and hope to see again, if there is another book, that is.
I can't guess what a third book would be about. This book didn't end with a question mark like the first book, which I knew would have a sequel. I guess we'll just have to see....more
I need to preface this review with the statement that lady pirates are most likely my favorite all-time historical subject. I study and read about theI need to preface this review with the statement that lady pirates are most likely my favorite all-time historical subject. I study and read about them, I watch TV and films with them, I even create my own lady pirate characters for stories. I love them.
So, the fact that this book contained a fierce red-headed lady pirate captain, I was all over it, so to speak. There was the fear that I may be disappointed (it's not like books about lady pirates grow on trees) because this book was written by a male author and told from the perspective of a man. I feared, because I thought the lady pirate may be some unrealistic male fantasy. Alas, no! Captain Hannah Mabbot was a realistic pirate and a fully fleshed out character.
The bare bones of the story is this: chef Owen Wedgwood is kidnapped by Captain Hannah Mabbot after she kills his employer. He gets to keep his life if he cooks one fancy meal a week for her. So, Wedgwood must improvise with the ingredients found on a pirate ship. And I really loved how he worked around getting the ingredients that he got. He had to plan ahead and make deals, it was quite interesting to watch.
But Captain Mabbot isn't just dilly-dallying around eating food, she's after the elusive Brass Fox, with whom she has a mysterious score to settle.
We see all the characters through the view of Wedgwood, and it was quite fascinating to read how his perspective of everyone, and of pirating in general, started to change throughout the months. Of course, the best thing to watch was how his view of Mabbot changed. How she went from a one-dimensional ruthless pirate, to a full formed person with strengths and weakness, goals and fears.
Pirating was not glossed over here, and was not seen as romantic. I thought the book really captured the grittiness of pirating.
I could literally sit here and write paragraphs about Mabbot, but I just have to say I was really impressed. Like I said, it's not everyday a book about a lady pirate comes out, so I have to read what I can get. The fact that I wasn't disappointed in the least, makes me very, very happy. She's everything I love in a lady pirate: the fact that she was really no different from a male pirate. She was realistic, and that's all I wanted....more