Hello, Dear Bloggites. 🙂 April’s book club choice to read was Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen. I was unable to make the meeting, however, I did read the book and am now going to share my thoughts with you in this monthly book review blog. The story is about star-crossed lovers in a time when the world was all about status and gossiping about those within one’s circle.
Within this book, you get to see the world from a woman’s perspective in a man driven society. In the era this book was written, women were frowned upon when they try to exert their independence. A woman was only as good as her husband’s status in society. The rich stayed with the rich and the poor stayed with the poor and for someone trying to cross that invisible line, they are sure to be berated and put back in their ‘proper’ place.
The storyline was able to catch the reader’s attention. You felt you knew all the characters perfectly, as if you were a long time personal friend of theirs. Frances, the main character, seemed to be a bit translucent throughout the story. Even though the story was focused on the relationship between Frances and Edgar Allan Poe, she came off as a secondary player in the book instead of the main one.
The book was written in the first person voice, which I am not a big fan of, but it helped the reader feel the sympathy Frances felt watching Edgar’s struggles in his life. Edgar never felt good enough for any level of society no matter how successful he became and how in demand he was for his written works.
The book is titled “Mrs. Poe” yet, aside from Frances thoughts about her, you rarely ever read about any interactions between Mrs. Poe and other characters. I feel the book should have been titled differently, but I think I understand the reasoning behind the title by the author.
When Mrs. Poe is written about, her character along with her Aunt, Mrs. Clemm, was of a very dislikable lot. No matter how nice the two characters acted or seemed, the actions always felt untrue to the reader. I was very impressed with Lynn Cullen’s ability to create this feeling in me as I read the character’s interactions. Kudos to her on that one. 🙂
Another main player within the book was Reverend Griswold. This character made the reader feel creeped out in a greasy and violated way with how he interacted with Frances. The reader does not get a good feeling about him or his intentions. I was very impressed with the writing by the author to capture all the different personalities of the characters she wrote about.
Overall, it was a well written storyline with wonderful references to the era of Edgar Allan Poe. I give it 3 out of 5 Bookmarks. Happy Reading!
~ 4-Ever, P