BookBrowse Reviews Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

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Booth

by Karen Joy Fowler

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler X
Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2022, 480 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 7, 2023, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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Karen Joy Fowler's eighth novel gives backstory to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth's large, ill-fated family.

John Wilkes Booth is remembered as the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. But his family may just be of greater interest. In an epic fictional sweep from 1822 to nearly the close of the century, Karen Joy Fowler surveys the Booth family's triumphs and tragedies.

Patriarch Junius Brutus Booth is a melodramatic Shakespearean actor, often away on tour. He vociferously defends his beliefs in equality and vegetarianism, yet leases slave labor on his family farm near present-day Bel Air, Maryland. Mother is frequently pregnant and eventually there are 10 children, four of whom die young. Parts of the novel are told from the perspective of oldest daughter Rosalie. "Grief has destroyed Rosalie's parents right before her eyes," Fowler writes. "It seems to Rosalie that God has reached down and scooped out the middle of her family as if He were ...

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