I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews. (Again, I know it is Saturday...)
I have been trying to write this post for awhile now. I just was not thrilled over the book, it was rather disappointing to me. It was a book from If You Give a Blogger a Book...Club, which we have not even discussed yet and I am fine with not discussing it. (By the way, if you love to read and want to join a book club, you should check it out.) The first two books I read from the club were excellent: Eleanor & Park and The Aviator's Wife (which happened to be my favorite books I read in 2013), so I did not even bother looking at what this book was about. I just jumped into it and began to read. This book was NOT what I expected. Please do not take it as if I hated the book because I did not. I was just disappointed with it. Now to be perfectly fair, I am not a huge fan of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Raven" or to be honest most of his poems which are on the dark side. I know, I know...How can that be? They are classics but just not my genre preference. I do enjoy some but very few. Please do not judge me for it. With that said the book Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen is about Frances Osgood actually. In 1845, she is struggling to make money as a writer. Her husband has abandoned her and their two daughters. Thankfully Frances has a dear friend who takes them in and helps provide for her and her children. "The Raven" has been recently published and is a huge success. Publishers are looking for more dark side of writing which is not Frances style at all. She tries her best to write something in the style of Poe in order to make money for family. She struggles and it is still considered "flowery" to the publisher.
Frances attends many literary parties with her friends. I loved recognizing the famous authors listed in this book, many I read for literature classes in high school and college. It is at one of these parties she meets Edgar Alan Poe. Edgar praises Frances' writings where he destroys other authors when speaking about their work during a prior party which Frances did not attend. Edgar forces a friendship between Frances and his wife, Virginia. Virginia is very ill and is not the only fan of Frances' writings from the Poe residence. The relationship between Virginia and Frances is very odd. Virginia is very well aware of the feelings Edgar has for Frances.
During this time era, having an extra marital affair is very dangerous and one can be outcast and with Frances being a writer she has to be aware of everything she does to protect her career and her daughters. However, for some odd reason she is drawn in by Edgar and the two exchange love poems written to one another and published by the paper Edgar is part owner. The two tried to write anonymously but everyone knew who was writing the poems and to whom they were written for. Frances and Edgar give in to their passion and a child was conceived from this one night of enchanted night.
The author did a great job describing the era and sharing the characters. She definitely wrote from a unique point of view into the life of two rather famous American authors. I do not want to discourage any of you from reading it. I was just disappointed it was not more about Mrs. Poe myself. I guess, I should have read what the book was about prior and maybe I would have felt more satisfied.