NEW this week…
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
2.5 of 5 stars
Struggling poet Frances Osgood befriends Edgar and Victoria Poe in an attempt to further her own career, but as she becomes romantically entangled with Edgar, begins to fear his sickly wife.
“Words, words, words, words. Eddie’s not a real man — he’s just a shell made of words. Don’t fall in love with a poet, Mrs. Osgood. All they love is their words.”
This novelization of Frances Osgood’s (supposed?) affair with Edgar Allen Poe pieces together documented real-life events and weaves them into a tale that is somewhat unsettling, just as the Poes themselves. Throughout the entire thing, I loved that I could never really tell whether Mr. and Mrs. Poe were trustworthy or not. Though the narrator declared her love for him early on, the reader is still left to wonder what kind of man he really is — much in the vein of Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester.
This insta-love was one of my frustrations with this novel, however. After one afternoon interview, they were inexplicably drawn to one another in an all-encompassing way that pushed aside all reason or regard for anything (or anyone) else, and I have to say, I didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy the climax, which just seemed silly and contrived, nor the resolution, which was really no resolution at all. In the end, it seemed that there was a lot of buildup for little payoff.