The Raven's Bride

The Raven's Bride

4.7 4
by Lenore Hart
     
 

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When eight-year-old Virginia "Sissy" Clemm meets her handsome cousin, Eddy, she sees the perfect husband she's conjured up in childhood games. Thirteen years her elder, he's soft-spoken, brooding, and handsome. Eddy fails his way through West Point and the army yet each time he returns to Baltimore, their friendship grows. As Sissy trains for a musical career, her

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Overview

When eight-year-old Virginia "Sissy" Clemm meets her handsome cousin, Eddy, she sees the perfect husband she's conjured up in childhood games. Thirteen years her elder, he's soft-spoken, brooding, and handsome. Eddy fails his way through West Point and the army yet each time he returns to Baltimore, their friendship grows. As Sissy trains for a musical career, her childhood crush turns to love. When she's thirteen, Eddy proposes. But as their happy life darkens, Sissy endures Poe's abrupt disappearances, self-destructive moods, and alcoholic binges. When she falls ill, his greatest fear- that he'll lose the woman he loves- drives him both madness, and to his greatest literary achievement.

Part ghost story, part love story, this provocative novel explores the mysterious, shocking relationship between Edgar Allan Poe and young Sissy Clemm, his cousin, muse and great love. Lenore Hart, author of Becky, imagines the beating heart of the woman who inspired American literature's most demonized literary figure- and who ultimately destroyed him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The strange romance of Edgar Allan Poe and his cousin Virginia Clemm, who was just 13 when they married, is described by the strong-willed Virginia in this rich, imaginative novel. Tragedy haunts Virginia's life from her first meeting with her brooding, romantic older cousin in 1830, when she was seven, to her death from consumption at age 25. Layer by layer, Hart (Becky) builds her characters and their impoverished yet hope-filled world, creating a memorable young heroine whose naïve dreams soon give way to the urgency of saving the troubled, brilliant Poe from his inner darkness. Hart also explores the sometimes underrated effects of Poe's genius on the early American literary scene and the professional jealousies and squabbles that held him back, never losing sight of Virginia as the fully realized character at the center of the story. This is an impressive, original work that illuminates its subject. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In her acknowledgements, novelist Hart (Becky) noted that she was named after the young dead woman in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and feels a personal connection to the subject of her touching new work. At the age of 13, Virginia "Sissy" Clemm married her cousin Edgar "Eddy" and was his constant companion and friend until her death from consumption at 25. As befits a historical novel about the ill-fated author, there are dark overtones here. The family must struggle through financial difficulties, frequent moves, and poor health, and Hart carries the reader with them every (frequently depressing) step of the way. At the same time, Hart depicts the love and companionship that Eddy and Sissy shared, and their story can't be told without the presence of Sissy's indomitable mother, "Muddy," who remained an integral part of the couple's household throughout their marriage. VERDICT A supernatural element frames the narrative, providing readers a satisfactory conclusion to a tragic tale. Highly recommended for fans of the slightly spooky and historical.—Donna Shuman, Westerville P.L., OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312567231
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
729,461
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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