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on August 6, 2008
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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on March 25, 2010
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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on July 30, 2008
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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on March 6, 2010
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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on April 19, 2010
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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on March 8, 2010
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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on March 17, 2011
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 day by day dialogue. I don't care what they sat down to eat for breakfast. I was interested in the events of the period, not the minutiae of the moment. While the book held potential, it held no relevance. I had to give up on it. This was not worth the money, and I 'bought' it when it was free. There are a lot of really good books on the Amazon list. This is not one of them.
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on March 5, 2010
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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on March 23, 2010
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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on July 25, 2012
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....this was the worst book I have ever tried to read. If the nonsensical ramblings wouldn't have been enough to send me running, the crude language certainly would. I have to admit after the first couple of 'chapters' (and I use that term liberally) I started skimming in hopes that the book would improve. It did not. If I could give this `book' minus stars, I would.
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