I wasn't sure of what I was expecting when first deciding to read and review this novel. Maybe a memoir of sorts or a tale so much more ordinary. But this...it was absolutely exquisite in its telling. A shivery tale that was not intended but which thrilled me to my very core. Almost as much as the characters, or most of them anyway, in this book were by the poem "The Raven."
And speaking of "The Raven", I do not know a time when I have heard it mentioned so much. I mean, every other chapter or two someone was asking poor Mr. Poe to recite it. I literally sighed with frustration every time someone queried about it. I loved that, though, because it kind of emulates how things truly are. People find something that they adore, a poem or story, and then they work it to death.
Now on to the characters. Edgar Allan Poe is a subject that many are familiar with, but I have to say that I knew little about his wife or mistress. I just knew they existed in a sense as to have made him a bit of who he was as a person, just like everyone all of us will ever meet will influence us. I actually truly loved how Frances brought out this light in Poe. He seems so dark and brooding in the beginning that it felt as if he basically considered the world an annoyance. But when she came along, I have to say, he writing became considerably brighter, even if only in poems to her, he seemed, dare I say it, happy.
And his wife...WOW!!! Um...she was quite interesting. Seriously, though, I felt so many emotions toward her: fear, pity, fear...Okay, so maybe two words in all, but considering she was dying throughout all of this, she was a tough cookie. She was bound and determined to see Poe go with her in the end.
All around, I loved the characters in this. The main ones (Frances, Poe, Mrs. Poe) and the not-so-main. The obnoxious and the downright deplorable. The understanding and the not-so-understanding. Everyone brought something to the table. Right down to the kitten, Miss Poe. Each brings another level to the affair which forms between Poe and Frances.
Not a disappointment at all. In fact, I absolutely fell in love with it. There are really no other words to describe this story. I can only shake my head in satisfaction and say, "Go on...pick it up. You'll love it from its first line all the way to its last."