Booth’s Sister by Jane Singer

As you know, I like reading historical stories based on the lives of women, especially if they’re from different cultures.  This book kind of falls into that category, but it’s based on a true story.

Booth’s Sister” is based upon the memoir of Asia Booth, the older sister of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln’s assassin.  It starts out right after Lincoln was killed; Asia had some visitors come to her house asking where her brother was, convinced that she knew details that could help the investigation.

The story then reverts back to Asia and John’s childhood.  To be honest, this part of the story was realllllly slow to me.  I almost put the book down (well, I didn’t have the actual book, so I guess you could say that I would have just moved onto the next book on my Kindle book list).  The story is told from the first person perspective of Asia.  As a child, she envied her brother, who was going to follow in their father’s footsteps and become an actor.  I guess back in that time, women could not be actors/actresses.  The family is really into Shakespeare, and his quotes are peppered throughout the dialogue.   From the get go, it seemed to me like Asia had more than just a jealousy or admiration of her brother, it almost seems like she is in love with him – it’s kind of odd.

Finally, after learning about Asia and John as children and teenagers, we get to their young adulthood when John becomes a pretty famous stage actor.  Asia tries to go see his plays as much as possible and is in awe of her brother just like everyone else.  When Asia gets married and invites her brother to dinner, a huge argument ensues between John and her husband (also named John) and the other guests regarding Lincoln, slavery, and the government.  That’s when you start to see the signs that he has a bone to pick with the Prez.  Next thing you know, men are beating down Asia’s door looking for John and hold her captive for about almost two weeks before they finally find and kill him.

Coincidentally, at the same time I was reading this book, my boyfriend is reading a book called “Manhunt” about the search for Lincoln’s killer (which he says I “must read”, which I will, eventually).  ”Booth’s Sister” was interesting; it wasn’t exactly what I expected.  The beginning parts about their childhood didn’t seem entirely relevant to the rest of the story of their lives (some thing did, but not all), but maybe I was just missing something.  Maybe it was because this book was BASED on the true story, so perhaps some things were “fluffed” for entertainment value.  For all of you men out there (okay, probably only a few who actually read this), this is a book that you could read – it’s not targeted specifically toward women, even though it’s told from the woman’s perspective.  You’d probably like “Manhunt” better, though.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.

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