Rumor Has It

Mrs. Poe - Lynn Cullen

I like my fictional men moody and misunderstood, which is funny because in real life I'd last about 5 minutes with a man like that. Ha. Well, I'd love the misunderstood part but I would have a hard time if he looked at me sideways.


However, I love Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester, and even cruel Heathcliff ( in his younger years that is...though I'll admit to him breaking my heart and making me sob thereafter. So I guess that's fictional love). 


At any rate, I loved reading about all of them. Never wanted the books to come to an end. That is how I felt reading about Edgar Allen Poe. Though Poe, as we know, is not a fictional character but was a well known poet...and evidently quite the heartthrob. A misunderstood one.


That's not the rumor though.


The focus of this historical fiction novel is not Mrs. Poe as one would assume. It's really about the love affair between Edgar and Francis Osgood. Again, no one knows if this affair actually happened because the book is actually fictional, although there is a theory that it might have. There is also the theory that he simply married Virginia, the real Mrs. Poe only to help the family out. Who knows?


Of course, I loved the romance (Oh to read a Bronte- like novel or even an Austen-like novel. Sigh.) but what really captured my interest about this book is the role people and media play in a person's reputation. I watched a documentary on Marie Antoinette that stayed with me. In summary, the documentary led me to believe that she might have been entirely different than what society was led to believe. Therefore, the Edgar we see around Halloween time....maybe not the true picture. Did I mention, he wasn't creepy? I'm extremely happy that Cullen let us see another Poe and perhaps the real one. Rumors make me incredibly downhearted, especially when they are never opposed.


So not only did this book get my heart pumping, it made me think too.


What is fiction and what is truth?


Do we ever really know?