Read advance reader review of Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard, page 3 of 3

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Courting Mr. Lincoln

by Louis Bayard

Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard X
Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2019, 352 pages

    Feb 2020, 416 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 3 of 3
There are currently 21 member reviews
for Courting Mr. Lincoln
Order Reviews by:
  • Marie A. (Warner, NH)
    I especially enjoyed the voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed as they expressed their views and feelings in their own words. This technique gives the reader insight into the relationships, moods, and frustrations between and among the characters.

    Bayard's entertaining and thought provoking novel has motivated me to learn more about Lincoln and these two key figures in his life. I found this historical fiction work an enjoyable, fascinating, well written read which explores the fragile nature of emotions and gives the reader an opportunity to see how the characters deal with their particular feelings and the resulting consequences they may face.
  • Sandra L. (Delray Beach, FL)
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    This book was very good - I wanted to give it a 4 1/2. The exploration of the relationships between Mary Todd, Lincoln and Joshua Speed is very beautifully captured. Much of it pulled at my heartstrings! It is written with intelligence - the author has quite an eye for historical detail and the book is filled with both humor and poignancy.
  • Lucy S. (Westford, MA)
    view of an historical icon as a young man
    Back and forth among the 3 intertwined characters and their relationship to each other and the culture of the day. The descriptions of Lincoln as a young man hint at the leader he will become in our history books. Not much action in the book - but the 3 main characters and how they work together provide its own suspense.
  • Marcia F. (Batavia, IL)
    thoughts 0n "Courting Mr. Lincoln"
    A good read overall. Bayard takes some liberties with the historical record, which is fine with historical fiction. This book covers Lincoln's early years in Springfield where he meets Joshua Speed and Mary Todd. His growth from bumpkin to a man dressed and appearing as a professional and who could stand up as a lawyer, legislator and politician is fleshed out. Much of this polishing is attributed to input from Speed. In many ways, this reads as a book that could cross over to young adult readers. Lightly written, no overt violence or sex,. The relationship between Lincoln andSpeed is delicately handled - how far did the relationship extend? Some biographies have suggested Lincoln was bisexual and this book seems to accept that suggestion. Both Joshua Speed and Mary Todd are clearly courting Lincoln, each in their own way, each to their own ends. I would recommend this book to historical fiction fans, both young adult and adults. Purists of Lincoln history might find this book too light and straying too far from fact.
  • Doris K. (Angora, MN)
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Readers of historical fiction will want to read this book..I have read much about Lincoln however this book tells about the early years when he first met Mary Todd and his friendship with Joshua Speed. Although it is fiction much is based on historical facts as all good historical fiction needs to be. The courtship of Mary and Abe is written in a fascinating way and brings to life the culture of that time in our history. I have now purchased the biography of Mary Todd Lincoln mentioned by the author. Reading historical fiction often leads to finding more facts.
    I rated this book 4 stars because at times it did progress slowly.
    Overall this is a good read for anyone interested in history.
  • Norma R. (Secaucus, NJ)
    Communicaton is key
    This is a novel that is centered on Abraham Lincoln's young adult life in Springfield Illinois. It focuses on Lincoln, his future wife Mary Todd and his close friend Joshua Speed. The novel delves into the personalities of all three. Lincoln is very closed off emotionally, he and Mary have a lot of difficulty communicating on an emotional level. Lincoln and Joshua share a very close relationship, but they too have trouble understanding each other. No one seems to be able to express their feelings. There is a lot of sadness. I liked that the novel was told from different character's point of view.
  • Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
    Wife and Friend
    I had high expectations for this book because I love Abe and have read a lot of fiction and non fiction about him. I was a bit disappointed! I did like the portrayal of him as the country bumpkin that was coached by his friend on how to behave in civilized society but was bogged down in too many details. Likewise I was interested in Mary's portrayal as a self possessed and politically obsessed debutante who needed to find a husband but felt their relationship was too drawn out. I found the book a slow read and it didn't always hold my attention. Perhaps I was distracted by the fact I know how it ends! If you are a Lincoln fan I'd give it a read and see what you think.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Beyond the Book:
  History of the First Lady

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Salvage This World
    Salvage This World
    by Michael Farris Smith
    In the near-future universe of Michael Farris Smith's Salvage This World, life-threatening ...
  • Book Jacket: Where Coyotes Howl
    Where Coyotes Howl
    by Sandra Dallas
    Where Coyotes Howl may appear to be a classically conventional historical novel — a wide-eyed ...
  • Book Jacket: After the Miracle
    After the Miracle
    by Max Wallace
    Many people have heard one particular story about Helen Keller—how the saintly teacher, Annie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Lost Wife
    The Lost Wife
    by Susanna Moore
    The Lost Wife is a hard-hitting novella based in part on a white settler named Sarah Wakefield's ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nazi Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
Currently a New York Times bestseller: The true story of a Nazi plot to kill FDR, Stalin, and Churchill during WWII.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Pieces of Blue
    by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    A hilarious and heartfelt novel for fans of Maria Semple and Emma Straub.

Win This Book
Win Girlfriend on Mars

30 Copies to Give Away!

A funny and poignant debut novel that skewers billionaire-funded space travel in a love story of interplanetary proportions.



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.