Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

Fates and Traitors
by Jennifer Chiaverini

Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 382
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  John Wilkes Booth, the mercurial son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, committed one of the most notorious acts in American history—the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

The subject of more than a century of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession, Booth is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, a violent loner whose single murderous act made him the most hated man in America. Lost to history until now is the story of the four women whom he loved and who loved him in return: Mary Ann, the steadfast matriarch of the Booth family; Asia, his loyal sister and confidante; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator’s daughter who adored Booth yet tragically misunderstood the intensity of his wrath; and Mary Surratt, the Confederate widow entrusted with the secrets of his vengeful plot. 

Kritters Thoughts:  Before reading this book I was already a Jennifer Chiaverini fan, so even though I was worried about reading a book about John Wilkes Booth.  With my niece being a huge Abraham Lincoln fan, I am fully aware of what happened to him and she sees him with rose colored glasses.  But I was intrigued to read about how John Wilkes Booth became the man he did and what drove him to do what he did.  

What makes this book completely unique is the viewpoint on this one's man life, this book is written from the viewpoints of the four women in his life.  HIs mom, his sister, his fiance and a woman who helped in the plot.  Each woman gets a chance to tell John Wilkes Booth's life through the years they had with him.  I thought this was a genius idea to show a man who many people probably hate through somewhat of a sympathetic viewpoint because all of these women loved him and supported him.  

I also liked how the book began and ended.  It started with Booth's capture and death and then straight into his mother's story as to how she fell in love with his dad and their family was started.  The book ends with the entire crew telling the happenings of the plot and how it all went down.  I liked that the entire crew was able to tell what happened during and after he did the deed.  

I will say that although it was hard to read about John Wilkes Booth, it was interesting to find out more about him.  I would love to see Chiaverini do this with another person from the past that may have a bad reputation.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

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