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Archive: Other Books > Mrs Poe / Lynn Cullen - 2** (Decathlon)

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5633 comments Cross-posted to DECATHLON challenge

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Mrs Poe – Lynn Cullen
2**

Historical fiction that focuses on the relationship between Frances Osgood, a poetess, and Edgar Allan Poe, newly famous for “The Raven,” and complicated by the attempts at friendship between Poe’s wife and Frances.

Well, I wanted to like this. I enjoy historical fiction, and especially those works that explore a little-known coincidence or relationship. Cullen clearly did much research into her two main characters. There is more information available about Poe, as he was the more famous writer and his works are still taught in high school English classes today. But there is much misinformation about Poe; his first “biographer” was his rival Rufus Griswold, who wrote out-and-out lies in an effort to besmirch Poe’s reputation (and perhaps, elevate his own). Osgood’s story is less well-known, but her poetry remains, and in the author’s notes at the end of the novel, Cullen states that she tried to let Osgood’s and Poe’s own writings “speak for themselves.”

I just never really felt any love between them. I got tired of the longing and yearning and attempts to stay apart, only to be inextricably drawn together. I never could figure out the role of Virginia, Poe’s wife (and younger cousin). I think this is in part a result of Cullen’s doing down the path of “dark, mysterious, horror” that everyone associates with Poe. She states in her author’s notes that she never intended for this to be a dark tale, but that Poe’s story just naturally led in that direction. I wish she has found a way to resist that pull. The result is that this is neither a good “mystery / suspense” story nor a good love story.

I never knew about the connection between these two; heck, I didn’t know anything about Frances Osgood at all. I’m glad to have learned a little about it, though I learned much more from the author’s notes than from the novel itself.

LINK to my review


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7238 comments This is one I could not finish. I respect readers who plow through knowing their rating is going to fall in the low end. I just can't do it anymore...so many good books, too little time!


Ladyslott | 1880 comments Barely made it through this book, it was all over the place and I didn't care about anyone in the book. Also rated it 2 stars.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5633 comments "all over the place" is a great description of this book, Linda!


Ladyslott | 1880 comments Book Concierge wrote: ""all over the place" is a great description of this book, Linda!"

🙂


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