Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Frances Osgood is trying to support her two daughters with her poetry in mid-19th Century New York while her husband, a semi-famous portraitist, is off who-knows-where with some pretty young rich thing. While at a literary soiree she is formally introduced to Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. Sparks fly for both Frances and Mr. Poe but there are two major problems: Mr. Osgood and Mrs. Poe. It would be scandalous for Frances to pursue a relationship with Mr. Poe even though her husband is absent and Mrs. Poe is extremely ill; maybe even more so for the later reason. Can these two find any happiness?
It was nice to see Poe in a not-so-dreary light. He is a character, but when you read about his home life (his wife is a very interesting person) you understand him more. You can see what Poe sees in Frances and her in him. You also learn about the double standards of the time – what is good for the gander is most certainly not good for the goose!
This is a nice choice for those looking for historical fiction from a modern thinking woman’s point of view as well as those interested in New York in times gone by. The book opens with The Raven which is great to reacquaint yourself with before starting this book.