Fates and Traitor: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini

Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth

  • Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Published: 9/13/2016
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • Ratings: 4/5


“The infamous John Wilkes Booth, the son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, has been 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 back.  Fates and Traitors brings to life pivotal actors, who made and indelible mark on the history of our nation”

This novel starts with a prologue about John Wilkes Booth being captured and shot when he refused to surrender. In the prologue we get the last thoughts he had before he dies.  This novel gives us a look into John Wilkes Booth’s life thru the perspective of the four women in his life.  The novel is divided into four chapters each chapter gives us each of these four women perspective.

Chapter One:  Mary Ann

In this chapter we get to know the story about John Wilkes Booth parents Mary Ann Holmes and Junius Brutus Booth.  We see how his parents met and eloped to America and we also get the story of Mary Ann’s struggle with the famous actor.

Chapter Two:  Asia

John’s most beloved sister.  Asia adored John and in this chapter we get more of John and his siblings.  Early on after the passing of the father Asia worried about the company he was keeping and was worry about John’s remarks regarding his comments about defending slavery.  She worried about his future.

Chapter Three:  Lucy

Daughter of Senator John Parker Hale and John’s love interest.  In this chapter we get to see how they meet and how Lucy even after hearing the way John speaks about Abraham Lincoln and the gossip going around Washington city (Washington DC) dismisses it to be nothing more than just John’s love for the South.

Chaper four:  Mary Surratt

Here we meet a widow that is the Surratt boardinghouse owner, where her son John introduces John Wilkes Booth to his mother Mary Surratt and his sister Anna, and where all the conspiracy to kidnap Lincoln meetings took place.  This story is the one that did not have a dark ending.

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Final thoughts

I truly enjoyed this read, loved the way Chiaverinni portrayed each character and their perspective. I think this novel to be well researched and well presented.

I want to Thank Penguin Random House and Dutton for sending me a copy of this book, I really enjoyed reading this novel.

Click this link to purchase this book

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