Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: Assassin by Anna Myers

 John Wilkes Booth is a name infamous for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. But what do we really know about the man behind the crime? Booth was an actor; charismatic and a favorite among the ladies. his original plan was to kidnap the president. But what if there was more to the story; an accomplice we don't know about?

    Arabella "Bella" Getchel has always dreamed of being on the stage.Her mother, Bella's biggest supporter in this dream, dies when Bella is six. Her father, falling into a drunken state, sends his daughter from their home in Richmond, Virginia to Washington City, the capital, to live with her grandmother. Her grandmother disapproves of the theater, wanting her granddaughter to be a seamstress, like herself. When Bella shows talent in sewing, her grandmother lands her a job at the White House. Here she makes many friends, including the sons, Tad and Willie, of the Lincolns and Steven, who becomes her dearest and closest friend. Everything is great until civil war breaks loose in the states. Bella is torn between her father and hometown of Richmond and the place she's made friends and a life in Washington. Meeting the handsome actor, John Wilkes Booth doesn't help her decide. The radical Southerner asks her to betray everyone she loves, sweet-talking her into believing it is all in the name of the South and to help her father. Bella has some decisions to make and it's a matter of who she's willing to hurt.
     Told in alternating perspectives of Booth and Bella, this book reveals the man John Wilkes Booth was before he killed the president and intertwines a the fictional story of Bella, the girl infatuated with the theater he had to hurt to be in the history books. This book has
      207 pages
      15 chapters
and is the young adult  genre but is acceptable for middle-grade readers. I really love how the two main characters are developed separately for a time before they are brought together. The pacing is generally fast, there's constantly something happening, even if it isn't something monumental. This book really paints the mystery behind the assassin in a clear and amusing picture, seamlessly blending history and fiction. A great read for Civil War junkies, like myself, and anyone wondering who was John Wilkes Booth before he murdered Lincoln?
Level of romance: Love is only hinted at, the subject isn't explored, merely mentioned.
Rating: 5 out of 5

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