Monday, June 2, 2014

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen is a book that intrigued me from the moment I saw it on the bookshelf.  I love historical fiction and I was interested when I read the synopsis.  Francis Osgood is a writer and a mother who has recently been abandoned by her husband in 1845 New York.  Taken in by friends, she continues to write and participate in society under the guise that her husband is only away for a while, working as a portrait painter.  While in attendance at a literary salon, she meets Edgar Poe and his young wife.  At the time, everyone is fascinated with the recent publication of "The Raven."  Mrs. Poe and her mother often entertain Mrs. Osgood and it is through these visits that she and Mr. Poe come to know one another and quickly fall in love.  Mrs. Osgood's writing improves as she and Mr. Poe anonymously send love poems to one another through publication in his literary magazine. 

At first I was really enjoying this book, but it didn't take long to begin to annoy me.  I love the historical aspect of it and I was interested when it seemed as though the relationship between Mr. Poe and Mrs. Osgood was going to remain purely literary.  I was disappointed when it did not.  I will say that I was amused when, typical of myself, I did not see coming the Poe-like twist at the end.  The novel wrapped up strangely and the true facts of the characters did not leave Ms. Cullen much opportunity for a happily ever after.  

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