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Booth's Sister [Kindle Edition]

Jane Singer
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Her brothers were the matinee idols of the 1850's theater world; her father was a famous Shakespearean; she wanted to be an actress but the social rules of the era prevented it; Asia Booth, sister of John Wilkes Booth, endured a peculiar and often sad childhood with her flamboyant father, flighty mother and restricted ambitions. Her devotion to brother Johnnie led her to aid his anti-Union sentiments during the Civil War, and she was suspected of conspiracy in the Lincoln assassination. Historian Jane Singer imagines the dreamlike misery and mistakes of a little-known player in the Lincoln tragedy.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 501 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (July 15, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038JCW4C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,049 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transporting! August 6, 2008
Format:Paperback
I love this book. Jane Singer is an amazing writer. Often I would go back and slowly re-read a sentence just to savor it. Particularly compelling is the multi-dimensional relationship between Asia and John first as children then, as innocence wanes, adults. I found myself wanting to know more about John and his motivations but that's for another book (Hopefully one by Ms. Singer) The histrionics of the father were amusing but I would have liked to get to know him not always "on". With Asia, I felt I knew her so well by the end of the book: her bravery, her fears, her playfulness, beautifully revealed by the author. All in all it's a wonderful story and I found myself wanting more.

Moah
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely Written July 30, 2008
Format:Paperback
I see another review for this title seems to have neglected to notice that it is fiction. And it's beautiful fiction. Much of the writing has the lilt and imagery of poetry. It's a wonderfully imagined story and chock full of fascinating history. All around, a great read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Historically Inaccurate to an Incredible Degree March 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
While I realize this book is the author's re-creation of what she believed Asia Booth's life was like, the imposition of 21'st century lifestyles and her beliefs onto a character who lived in mid-1800's America was so awful I could not finish reading it. Although impoverished, and at a time when most families could typically only afford a Bible in their home, we are to believe that in John & Asia Booth's childhood home, "Books were stuffed under chairs and tables...piled high as a man's head."

When there was little to eat, we are expected to believe that only Johnnie and Asia Booth are working the farm ("I don't mind the work, Gillie. It makes me muscled.") while others sit around getting educated, acting as an audience. ("The Negroes are godly good folk and will be made wiser by the verses.")

The book plays into an awful stereotype: "The Negroes would rather be an audience than farm."

Finally, the book seemed the author's way of stuffing in as many quotes from other sources as she could, which I found very distracting. As stated above, I could not finish the book - an extremely rare occurrence for me.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical novel March 6, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was quite taken by this book. As a student of Lincoln, I am an avid reader of all things associated with him, and was certainly drawn to this title. The historical accuracy was quite impressive, all the way up to John Wilkes Booth's last words as he lay dying. It is written as a period piece, so any "flowery" wording is most acceptable. One never considers what happens to the relatives of infamous criminals, particularly Booth, arguably the most infamous of them all. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it April 19, 2010
By Helen B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't do a lot of reviews but decided I needed to do this one. It is a book that you love or hate, but personally, I liked it. If you have a Kindle try a sample. Booth's sister, Asia, wanted to be the actor and the favorite son but her brother got both parts. They have an intimate but not quite incestuous relationship and their crazy father made a mess of them both. As John Wilkes becomes more and more a confederate, pro-slavery radical,Asia struggles with her love of him and her opposition to his politics. Attitudes toward women are also a big factor in this book. Since they are all a little psychotic, the style is apparently not appealing to some, but I liked it. Don't make a decision on the overall average rating.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not everything you would think March 8, 2010
By CLJ
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm really having a hard time getting into this book. The writing style reminds me of a fairy tale, lots of describing of scenes and place setting with little of substance about Asia. I get that the sons/daughter of the Booth family would have been raised in a theatrical home. I don't need multiple chapters about it.

I'm frustrated in the reading of this book and will have to put it away for a while. I think I'm going to have to be really desperate for something to read before I'll pick it up again.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious March 5, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is not often that I can not find a single good thing to say about a book but this is one of those occasions.
This book is not even worth it at the free price tag.

If I wanted to read Shakespeare, I would read Shakespeare. The author has filled up many pages of Shakespeare's writing in an effort to create enough pages to call it a book.

There is a great story to tell about Asia Booth but this was not the way to tell it. I realize this is a fiction but the story could have been made into an interesting and captivating tale. This author did nothing to create an interesting story but instead meandered about in a maddening insane way.

This is quite possibly the worst book I have ever attempted to read, it even ranks below Toni Morrison's "Beloved"

I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I know it's supposed to be fiction, but March 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, this book is just a rambling disjointed mess that is very difficult to read. But the thing that really bothered me is the statement in the very first pages of the book that Asia Booth Clarke had three brothers. In reality, she had four brothers. They were Junius Jr., Edwin, John Wilkes, and Joseph. She also had a sister named Rosalie. Just because the book is a work of fiction shouldn't mean that one of her brothers totally ceased to exist unless the author is just using the name for a fictional character which is not the case. Fortunately, I got this one for free on Kindle. At least I got my money's worth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I love historical fiction, so the thought of reading about Booth's sister gave me pause. What would it be like to be the sister of a hated assassin? Read more
Published 5 days ago by Antoinette Brush
4.0 out of 5 stars A different view than generally known
While it may not be the greatest literature, it shines a different light on who Booth was and contrasts his sister's view of the times with his. Read more
Published 17 months ago by webbates
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and Dramatic Historic Memoir
A whimsical and dramatic historic memoir. This was such a colorfully told story of one of the most dramatic events of this country's history. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Angela Catirina
1.0 out of 5 stars How in the world?
I love history and I find the facts surrounding Lincoln's death particularly interesting, so I was looking forward to reading a story from a different perspective. Oh, my.... Read more
Published on July 25, 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
I found this to be an excellent book. Singer develops her characters so well, and uses amazing symbolism and imagery. Read more
Published on July 15, 2012 by Emily Sherwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Asia and John
Decades ago, "stream of consciousness" was a popular technique in which less attention was paid to narrative and more to the character's thoughts as they occurred. Read more
Published on June 3, 2012 by Linda Pagliuco
1.0 out of 5 stars What??
This is a really good example of a really misleading book description. I downloaded this title when it was offered free from the author or publisher. I tried my best to follow it. Read more
Published on November 25, 2011 by JAScribbles - Read, Review, Repeat
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I would have expected from historical fiction
This book is more along the lines of historical dialogue between boring children and adults. I was expecting historical fiction, but I was not prepared for two children giving me... Read more
Published on March 17, 2011 by Catty
3.0 out of 5 stars MAY HAVE RECIEVED MORE STARS IF I COULD FINISH
The book was interesting to me. I was only able to go so far in the book befor it directed me to the end. I double checked to make sure I wasn't reading the sample by mistake. Read more
Published on February 23, 2011 by Y. Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars Lush language, unique perspective
I thoroughly enjoyed the deftness of language and complete realization of Asia and her family dynamic. This book could easily become a play. Read more
Published on November 9, 2010 by Karen S. Bell
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More About the Author

Jane is a Civil War scholar and author of Booth's Sister, a novel about the reckless, enchanted and tragic life of Asia Booth,the sister of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth.(Belle Bridge Books, August, 2008)

Her nonfiction work, The Confederate Dirty War: Arson, Bombings, Assassination and Plots for Chemical and Germ Attacks Against the Union was published by McFarland & Company in August of 2005. In November of 2006, the History Channel based a two-hour special called Civil War Terror on her book. She was both the historical consultant for the project as well as the primary on screen narrator. Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine (The Fiend in Gray), The Washington Times (Felix Stidger and the Sons of Liberty). Her research and discovery of Stidger; a little-known American hero, were illuminated in a Chicago Sun-Times article. Singer is a member of The Author's Guild, Pen West and The American Historical Association. She is also a professional actor, voice-over artist, narrator and lecturer. Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is available to speak to various groups across the country about her writing.

She has recently written, produced and directed Green Zone Blues: Voices of War; a series of voices of ordinary men and women caught in the crosshairs of our troubled times. A CD of the production will soon be available.

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