Friday, October 21, 2016

FATES AND TRAITORS by Jennifer Chiaverini

The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns with a riveting work of historical fiction following the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his perilous confidence.

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. 
Fates and Traitors brings to life pivotal actors—some willing, others unwitting—who made an indelible mark on the history of our nation. Chiaverini portrays not just a soul in turmoil but a country at the precipice of immense change.

OPINION:

Author Jennifer Chiaverini takes us deep into the thoughts and motivations of one of America's most notorious murderers, John Wilkes Booth. Skillfully, she has recreated his world and the people closest to him to describe the events in his life that affected him that helps to explain why he did what he did. 

With a lovely narrative, I was given fascinating insight into this charismatic man gone wrong. To paint a compelling picture of this enigmatic man, she researched personal letters, articles, and memoirs of those who knew him. Through the eyes of the four women who touched his life, she has been able to recreate Booth's life and the events that led him to murder one of America's most respected presidents. And by bringing all these aspects together, the author has shown us the good side and the bad side of this murderer. 

Through Mary Surratt's voice, I came to see a different perspective of John Wilkes Booth. I longed to learn more about Mary, and why she helped Booth, a mistake that cost her her life. Perhaps the world will never know for sure. And that's one of the reasons why this portion of history continues to fascinate the world! A book worth reading! Beautifully rendered!