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Seventeen-year-old Edgar Allan Poe is set to leave his oppressive home in Richmond, Virginia, and achieve his dream of attending college at the distinguished university in Charlottesville. His foster father, the wealthy John Allan, wants to rid Edgar of his dark fantasies and fetter him to the family accounting business, but Edgar’s love for the grotesque only grows. Weeks before leaving for Charlottesville, his muse–the brooding Lenore–emerges, demanding to be seen. Torn between embracing his poetry and staying in his father’s good graces, Poe must either silence Lenore or risk being known as Richmond’s madman…forevermore.
The author made good use of imagery and described things vividly. I also felt a connection to the book, since the majority of it is set in Richmond. While the story is based around Poe’s life, it was not strictly a biography: it incorporated darker themes and an air of fantasy into his tragic life. I liked Lenore’s character development and her relationship with Poe. It was interesting to imagine the personification of everyone’s sources of inspiration. I loved the setting of 19th century Richmond. There was a kind of colonialism lingering, with secret lovers, family fortunes, and urban lore.
I loved how the author incorporated snippets of Poe’s actual work into the story and provided settings in which he could have written them. The author made sure to stay true to Poe’s writing style, and the entire book felt like an engrossing dark fantasy.
Reviewed by Gabby, Fairfield Area Library