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From the Man Booker finalist and bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves comes an epic novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history: John Wilkes Booth.
In 1822, a secret family moves into a secret cabin some thirty miles northeast of Baltimore, to farm, to hide, and to bear ten children over the course of the next sixteen years. Junius Booth—breadwinner, celebrated Shakespearean actor and master of the house in all ways—is at once a mesmerizing talent and a man of terrifying instability. One by one the children arrive, as year by year, the country draws closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war.
As the children grow and the tenor of the world shifts, the Booths cement their place as one of the country’s leading theatrical families. But behind the curtains of the many stages they have graced, multiple scandals, family triumphs, and disasters begin to take their toll. A startling portrait of a country in the throes of change and a vivid exploration of brother- and sisterhood, Booth is a riveting historical novel focused on the very things that bind, and break, a family.
About the Author
Karen Joy Fowler is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which was the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.
"Booth is a triumph! No one writes like Karen Joy Fowler, and in this gripping family saga, she has taken a piece of American history we thought we knew and told it slant. With wit, heart, and revelatory insight, she teases ghosts from their shadows, transforming the way we see the past, shedding new light on our troubled present.” —Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
“Like Tolstoy before her, and Natalia Ginzburg, Karen Joy Fowler understands that the only way to write about history is as clattery, complex dramas of ordinary people and their families—they become the stuff of history later. Booth is a subtly devastating meditation. . . . Its world—dense, granular, intricate—is created with immense care and precision, and rendered in prose of limpid, lyrical beauty. This is her finest, most beautiful novel to date.” —Neel Mukherjee, author of A State of Freedom