A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . .
Inspired by literature’s most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress’s tantalizing confession, and his wife’s frightening obsession . . . in this “intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive” (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction.
1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new immigrants and old money, optimism and opportunity, poverty and crime. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is all the rage—the success of which a struggling poet like Frances Osgood can only dream. As a mother trying to support two young children after her husband’s cruel betrayal, Frances jumps at the chance to meet the illustrious Mr. Poe at a small literary gathering, if only to help her fledgling career. Although not a great fan of Poe’s writing, she is nonetheless overwhelmed by his magnetic presence— and the surprising revelation that he admires her work.
What follows is a flirtation, then a seduction, then an illicit affair . . . and with each clandestine encounter, Frances finds herself falling slowly and inexorably under the spell of her mysterious, complicated lover. But when Edgar’s frail wife Virginia insists on befriending Frances as well, the relationship becomes as dark and twisted as one of Poe’s tales. And like those gothic heroines whose fates are forever sealed, Frances begins to fear that deceiving Mrs. Poe may be as impossible as cheating death itself. . . .
"Mrs. Poe is a compelling tale of ill-fated love, passion, and the writing life in antebellum New York, rich with period detail and suspense."
"Mrs. Poe is as lyrical and tragic as Poe’s work...I found this book nearly impossible to put down."
"Mrs. Poe is such a compelling novel, bringing history to vivid life. Danger, sensuality, mystery and passion fill the pages of this bewitching story set in the crowded cobbled streets, alleyways,cheap boardinghouses and literary gatherings of mid-nineteenth century New York City. Everyone warns the lovely, near penniless poet Mrs. Osgood, a deserted wife with two young children, to stay away from the dark-eyed writer Edgar Allen Poe who has fallen in love with her. She writes tender verses; he creates blood-curdling tales but he is darker than his writing, carrying secrets of his frail much younger wife and his heinous past. Even when Mrs. Osgood understands that someone is trying to kill her because of him, she cannot put aside her passion until it is almost too late."
"Coupled with lyrical prose and a fascinatingly complicated love triangle, the book held my attention from start to finish,giving me an insight into the tumultuous life of not only the characters, but of writers and the struggles they faced."
"I absolutely loved everything about this book, starting with the literary references right down to the forbidden romance. Cullen took all the pieces, fact and rumors, about Edgar Allen Poe and the characters around him and wrote a beautiful story that delves into feminism, technological progress, NYC literary society, and so much more."
"If you want to lose yourself in another time and place and become wrapped up in the drama of the life of literary New York and the characters who populated it then look no further. Mrs. Poe is a treasure and one you'll want to reread and research and remember."
"I'm already a fan of Poe's work. To see another side to him, a softer side to his tormented soul, was refreshing and wonderful. There is no way I can give this novel
“This is one of the best books that I have EVER read and I strongly encourage you to check it out, Poe fan or not, the writing is just that good.”