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Author: Janis Cooke Newman
An engrossing novel about Mary Todd Lincoln – one of history’s most misunderstood and enigmatic women. — Writing from Bellevue asylum — where the shrieks of the other inmates keep her awake at night — a famous widow can finally share the story of her life in her own words. From her tempestuous childhood in a slave...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780156033473
ISBN-10: 015603347X
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Pages: 624
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 55 ratings
Publisher: Harvest Books
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Mary on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Keeping in mind that this book is historical fiction and not a biography, it is a fantastic account of Mary Todd Lincoln. I was constantly looking up things while reading this book, and found all the names and dates and events were fact, but Newman expertly took all these facts and created a story around them. If you are looking for something more biographical, Newman writes this at the end of her book:

"I am indebted to Jean Baker's excellent biography, Mary Todd Lincoln, which both informed and inspired me. Anyone interested in an entirely factual account of Mary's life should read this book."

But if you are looking for read that will tug on your heart and inspire you and ARE looking for fiction, not a biography, you HAVE to read this!
Bossmare avatar reviewed Mary on + 306 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really got my attention at first then waned. The book tends to be very interesting in spots then gets a bit boring. I liked it but I wouldn't read it again.
shukween avatar reviewed Mary on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Mary Todd Lincoln sat front and center to one of America's deepest tragedies, but has received little focus from historians and novelists alike. This novel, which attends to accurate history, shows us her inner self and life. While most know of her insanity and commitment, few imagine how she came to that point or what her perspective on that might have been, and this Ms. Newman does with excellent and believable acuity. I found it hard to put this book down, and found myself forgetting that it was historical fiction as opposed to history proper.
reviewed Mary on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating book full of historical detail and giving a sympathetic portrait of a complex individual. I was pulled into the story right away.
jazzysmom avatar reviewed Mary on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was absolutely one of the best reads. I loved it, loved it, loved it. How fast those 600 some pages flew by. I hated to give the book up but i have a rule--"share the good, i can't keep more than a small white bag will hold" I read so many things i did not know about Mary Lincoln and truely was in awe. She had "issues" and many of them. She also seduced her husband in a time when it was not very lady like to approach a man in such a manner. She was a horder and they were poor and i do believe she tried very hard to keep up appearances when it was the last thing on Mr Lincolns mind, but as women of that time so often did they thought of what others would think of them rather than just be happy as you are. Mary was placed in an mental faculity near where i live, but i am not so sure she belonged there. Today her "issues" would of been dealt with much differently. I believed she suffered from some great depression and insecurites from living poor. I believe she was a woman of her own mind and went after what she wanted. If she had lived now instead of then, and gotten modern help, she could most likely of "Rocked The World".. This was as an exceptional novel.
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Shervivor avatar reviewed Mary on + 97 more book reviews
This was basically an interesting read and I feel that I now know more about Mrs. Lincoln then I probably should. The book is historical fiction based on many actual events. I think that as a general barometer of what life was like at that time this is a good account. But I have a hard time believing a lot of the material. My enthusiasm began to dwindle about midway through the novel, after the assasination. In my opinion the author portrayed Mrs. Lincoln as a shopoholic nutjob with a cantankerous louse of a son. The book gave me the desire to know more truths about this woman that suffered many tragedies in her life. Overall it was a compelling read.


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