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.
"Lenore Hart takes on one the great biographical mysteries of American literary culture -- the strange and passionate love between Edgar Allan Poe and Sissy, his child-bride. Only an exceptionally daring novelist would venture in this dark wood, yet Hart has charged bravely into the thicket. She returns from the wilderness with a lively, compelling narrative in Sissy's voice, here wonderfully imagined and believable, even when verging on the fantastic. The Raven's Bride is a bristling novel that adds considerably to the legend of Poe and his ill-fated marriage, evoking a world long gone with an eye for the exact detail." --Jay Parini, author of The Last Station