A fictionalized account of horror master Edgar Allan Poe’s life from March 1826 through December 1827.
Edgar “Eddy” Poe is desperate to escape the suffocating life of upper-crust Richmond, Virginia. At college, the 17-year-old will be free from his emasculating foster father’s controlling grip and can work on his poetry. The passionate and talented Edgar is close to achieving his goal when she appears. A girl in a dress of ashes and raven feathers, she is Eddy’s muse, whom he names Lenore. Lenore is fierce, powerful, and hungry for words, but she needs Eddy to commit to her so she can evolve from her new frail human form into a higher being. Will Poe pursue that which makes him happy, or will he succumb to what’s expected of him and live a life without artistic expression? Edgar and Lenore share the present-tense narration in distinctive first-person voices. Several of Poe’s most well-known works enhance the narrative, complemented by the author’s own finely crafted writing that flows with gorgeous, Poe-inspired phrases. Major characters are white; the family has three slaves, one of whom, Judith, plays an important role in inspiring and guiding Poe. The author's note troublingly refers to her as having "joined the Allans in January 1811," a phrasing in keeping with the benign manner in which these characters' enslavement is portrayed.
A labor of literary love that will appeal to fans of Gothic horror and anyone who has ever had to assuage a determined muse. (poems, author’s note, further reading, quoted material) (Historical horror. 13-adult)