I am a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and dark stories. I am usually apprehensive about reading books that feature a real life person as a fictional character, but somehow was willing to give this one a shot. I am so glad that I did.Blurb:1975. A 15-year-old young woman. A small, dusty town. A family that worships the great American author Edgar Allan Poe, and carries his surname.
Poe's Mother is a startling new novel of dark family secrets, the lure of the supernatural, the claustrophobic isolation of a dying town and a cautionary tale of the power of words.
This is the story of Sissy Baxter and her strange relationship with Edgar and Madeline Poe - two people who claim they love her. What Sissy discovers will change her life forever, and love will never be the same.
(This book is for mature readers.)
Edgar Allen Poe is not a central character in this book; however his presence is strongly felt both in the story and in the storytelling. The descriptions of the Poe house mirror my visions I have when reading a Poe story. I can feel the dark emptiness of the characters and the town as a whole. It even makes me feel somewhat dark and empty as I read it. You develop a sense that nothing is going to go right and truly feel what Sissy is feeling as she tells her story. I can truly see how Meeske has been influenced by Poe and one of my all-time favorites, Daphne du Maurier.
The story is intriguing, as Sissy tries to make sense out of her own life. She has been orphaned, being raised by her depressed brother who seems to be having issues of his own. She can't wait to get out of this small town and to do something better with her life. She barely likes anyone there, save her best friend, yet is strongly drawn to the strange family down the road who share them name of the classic author. Something about the mysterious Edgar draws her to him, despite warnings from her brother and other townspeople. She pursues the connection, anyway, and finds revelations that turn her whole world upside-down.
Point-of-view alternates between Sissy and Madeline, Edgar's mother. The more that Madeline tells the story, the deeper into the realm of insanity you go with the characters. It is not intrusive into the story at all.
The only thing that makes me crazy about this book is the lack of quotation marks when someone is talking. It made it hard for me to sometimes tell if someone was speaking or if the narrator was sharing a random thought. At the same time, it helped to contribute to the detached despair and craziness of this twisted story. I couldn't put it down. And now I want to read some of Meeske's other works.
I echo the final line of the blurb - this book is for MATURE audiences, ONLY. But it is an excellent read.
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