Booth (Large Print / Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

**The Snail is pleased to offer a limited number of signed copies of this historical novel.**

Booth is about more than resurrecting a villain from the history books, though it does shine a spotlight on John Wilkes Booth from birth to his infamous assassination of President Lincoln. This is a tale of the entire Booth family, who might be remembered for their theatrical celebrity — from father Junius Booth to his three thespian sons, Edwin, John, and June — but for the crime that brought shame to the clan forevermore. The story takes its time, meandering through births, deaths, and sibling conflicts, and focusing much of its attention on the sisters who had to live in their brothers' shadow. In the background throughout is Abraham Lincoln, who was gradually making his way to the White House, while the issue of slavery increasingly divided the country. We know about the big battles, from Gettysburg to Antietam, but here we also see the smaller riots and uprisings that inflamed someone like Booth to take matters in his own hands.
— Lady, Snail owner

Karen Joy Fowler has written a page turner about the infamous Booth family. This novel is gripping from the first page, and maintains momentum as it explores the family behind John Wilkes Booth, the rise of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and the tensions of a nation reaching a boiling point in the 19th century. Through her captivating storytelling, Fowler gives voice to the lesser known members of the Booth family, while also revealing family scandals and the rise of the Booth brothers to fame on the American stage. Theatre buffs especially will enjoy the frequent Shakespeare references, quotes and stage directions. History buffs will appreciate the way Fowler’s in-depth research has driven her writing.
(Note on subject matter: includes death of children and violence)
—Allison Hendrix, Snail Readers Circle

March 2022 Indie Next List

“The Booth family dominated 19th century American stages, but are known for the despicable actions of John Wilkes. Their saga, told by Karen Joy Fowler, mirrors the disintegration of their society and offers a cautionary tale for ours.”
— Bill Cusumano , Square Books, Oxford, MS


Best Book of the Year
Real Simple • AARP • USA Today • NPR • Virginia Living

Longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize

From the Man Booker finalist and bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves comes an epic and intimate 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 more ways than one—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 frighteningly closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war.

As the tenor of the world shifts, the Booths emerge from their hidden lives to 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 criminal disasters begin to take their toll, and the solemn siblings of John Wilkes Booth are left to reckon with the truth behind the destructively specious promise of an early prophecy.

Booth is a startling portrait of a country in the throes of change and a vivid exploration of the ties that make, 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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593556498
ISBN-10: 0593556496
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
Pages: 656
Language: English