Read Mrs Lincoln by Janis Cooke Newman Free Online
Book Title: Mrs Lincoln|
The author of the book: Janis Cooke Newman
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Loaded: 2236 times
Reader ratings: 7.9
Edition: Myrmidon Books Ltd
Date of issue: March 3rd 2009
ISBN 13: 9781905802210
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.12 MB
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What I think this book does better than the non-fiction books which I have previously read about Abraham Lincoln is to look at the personalities of Mary and Abraham, their relationship and Mary's relationship with her first son Robert. Another subject that is scarcely covered in the books below, but extensively covered here, is Mary's and Abraham's belief in the occult. Most of the names and events dealing with this subject seem to be true. I did a check on internet. The book focuses on Mary. It focuses on her life, and in this way shows how she affected her husband. What medical problems had they to deal with? Was she crazy? Was she a shopaholic? How involved was she in Abe's political career? A lot! The book also gives the reader a gripping idea of what life was like in a mental institution during the latter half of the 1800s. The book starts at Mary's youth. It ends not with her death but after she is released from the Belview Place Sanatorium, a mental institution to which her son had committed her in May 1875, ten years after the assassination. She was there for almost four months. Everything of importance in Mary's life IS covered, so of course also the president's assassination. She was seated next to him at Ford’s Theatre. Details of the civil war are not the central theme.
Mary is telling her own life story, writing it when she is in the sanatorium. It is a sad tale; Mary had a very difficult life. Although it is her story she is self-critical. I felt I got a balanced view of Mary, Abraham and Robert. None are saints. None are perfect. A very short epilog relates events after her release from the sanatorium.
Although I did like the book, I was never totally convinced that the author correctly captured Mary's internal thoughts. There is an awful lot about Mary's passion…and the lack of it in the men of her family. Was this perhaps a bit exaggerated? So much, maybe too much, is explained by Mary’s passion and the lack of it in others! (view spoiler)[ Probably Mary did have an extramarital relationship with Mr. William S. Wood, the Interim Commissioner of Public Buildings at the beginning of the Lincoln Administration. Here is an interesting article: http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/i... (hide spoiler)]
Supposedly Abraham always had a joke to tell. This is not reflected in the story, and this bothers me a bit. If he was a joker, why is none of this portrayed in the book? There is very little humor in this book.
The audiobook is narrated by Anne Buelteman. It is well done. Mary's language is "old-fashioned". It has to be, since this is her story. The reading is sad, and it is gripping. At other times you hear her horror and confusion.
Here is a book of historical fiction that delivers the facts through the eyes of one of its participants. I think it is important to understand the personality of people because this will mold their actions, and Mary certainly did shape Abraham Lincoln. My view of Lincoln is changed - a little bit less glorified.
After 2/3 of the book:
I have been checking everything and so far I cannot find one detail to be incorrect! So yeah, I guess what surprised me to pieces is actually true. The research put into this book of historical fiction is impressive. Not all is known to 100% but what is stated is not pure fantasy created by the author.
After a bit more than 1/3 of the book:
I don't want to leave an erroneous impression by the words below, when I first started the book. This book is not a light, quick read. It looks at the personalities of both Lincoln and his wife, their relationship and how men react to passionate women. I don't think this can or should be explained away by saying, "But that was the 1800s." I have a question: "How far passion should be allowed to run free? Aren't there limits????!" I can't help but query, "Is this fiction or fact?" The book also looks at the treatment of the insane and the ease with which women could be labeled as insane. You should never make quick judgments about people’s behavior. It is not an easy read at all. It is an emotionally gripping read, but now I am also asking questions about proof.
At the beginning, after an hour or two:
Mary is only ten. Her mother died at six and now she has a stepmother..
I AM liking Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln. I did a little research and found that the book is said to be true to the facts. It is written in such a manner that you see how as a youth Mary was raised with a belief in the occult. I know that later in life she arranges séances. Voodoo bits are exciting; it is quite simply an engaging read. I feel like I am seeing through the eyes of a young child at the "unknowable and strange" world around her.
You see how her childhood is molding who she will become as an adult. Death, the occult and politics.
I think my pleasure is enhanced by the narration of the audiobook by Anne Buelteman. The language is Southern and old-fashioned. (She grew up in Kentucky.)Really perfect, well evoking those times. This is an easy, fun read, so far.
I am not starting from scratch. I can recommend both Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Goodwin and "They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance
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Read information about the authorJanis Cooke Newman is the author of A Master Plan for Rescue , a magical novel about the surprising acts of heroism that can be inspired by love. She is also the author of Mary , a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was chosen by USA Today as the best historical fiction of 2006 and was a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction award. She is also the author of The Russian Word for Snow, a memoir about adopting her son from a Moscow orphanage. Both books are available in paperback. Newman is the founder of the Lit Camp writers conference.
Author photo copyright Ian Tuttle.
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