Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.
The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters. 368 p. Amulet Books/ Abrams, April 16, 2019. 9781419733628.
Publisher synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”
First Line(s): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! I imaging myself saying from the pulpit in the pink sanctuary of our church. My name is Edgar Poe, and today, for reasons I don't fully comprehend, I'm obsessed with the seventy-two bodies buried beneath us.
Page 56: Before he settles into a chair, Pa claps a hand on my left shoulder, pulls his pipe from his mouth wit a fleshy sound, and leans close to my ear, his breath sour and wretched.
"I need to speak to you after the guests leave," he says, and his words settle into my bones, where they chill and writhe."
I've had a casual fascination with Poe ever since viewing a clip of James Mason performing The Tell-Tale Heart as a college student. I went on to read a collection of his work. Years later, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Elliot Engel speak about Poe. Hearing the biographical details that informed his work really creeped me out but still fascinated.
I received this a few months ago at the Abrams preview and immediately fell for the cover. Isn't it beautiful? Other commitments pressed and delayed gratification. Now, it's winter break and my plate is empty.