Mary

Mary

3.98 (3,366 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A fascinating and intimate novel of the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, narrated by the First Lady herself



Mary Todd Lincoln is one of history's most misunderstood and enigmatic women. She was a political strategist, a supporter of emancipation, and a mother who survived the loss of three children and the assassination of her beloved husband. She also ran her family into debt, held seances in the White House, and was committed to an insane asylum--which is where Janis Cooke Newman's debut novel begins. From her room in Bellevue Place, Mary chronicles her tempestuous childhood in a slaveholding Southern family and takes readers through the years after her husband's death, revealing the ebbs and flows of her passion and depression, her poverty and ridicule, and her ultimate redemption.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 620 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 27.94mm | 498.95g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 015603347X
  • 9780156033473
  • 1,580,360

Back cover copy

"USA"" Today" s Best Historical Fiction of the Year
A "Los Angeles"" Times "Book Prize Finalist
Mary Todd Lincoln is one of history s most misunderstood and enigmatic women. The first president s wife to be called First Lady, she was a political strategist, a supporter of emancipation, and a mother who survived the loss of three children and the assassination of her beloved husband. Yet she also ran her family into debt, held seances in the White House, and was committed to an insane asylum. In this irresistible novel, Mary Todd Lincoln shares the story of her life in her own words, allowing us entry into the inner, intimate world of this brave and fascinating woman.
"Mary" is one of those rare books that turns the reader into an admiring fan of both the author and her subject. You feel a compulsion to urge others to read it . . . Newman gives Mary a riveting voice . . . after reading "Mary, " you ll view stout little Mrs. Lincoln and her 19th-century sisters in a new, more respectful light. "USA"" Today"
Like its protagonist, "Mary "is bold, happy to trample upon convention. It is also an old-fashioned pleasure to read. "The Plain Dealer" (Cleveland)
JANIS COOKE NEWMAN is the author of the memoir "The Russian Word for Snow." She lives in northern California, where she teaches writing classes at the renowned independent bookseller Book Passage. Visit www.JanisCookeNewman.com.
Reading Group Guide available at www.HarcourtBooks.com."
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR MARY "One of those rare books that turns the reader into an admiring fan of both the author and her subject. You feel a compulsion to urge others to read it."--USA Today "Like its protagonist, Mary is bold, happy to trample upon convention. It is also an old-fashioned pleasure to read . . . Newman daubs period detail like an Impressionist, splashing in lines that intensify her color."--The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
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Rating details

3,366 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,055)
4 43% (1,437)
3 20% (680)
2 4% (142)
1 2% (52)

Our customer reviews

I admit to knowing very little about the Lincolns. I know what was taught in history, but very little of that centered around Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln is her fictional story, told through Mary?s own eyes and centers prominently around her admittance into an insane asylum. I have to say, out of all the historical fiction books I?ve read this year, this one was the most depressing. I found myself torn between admiration for Mrs. Lincoln and horror at the very actions which caused her son to commit her. There was no good or bad side with regard to their relationship and what I was left with, when all was said and done, was a feeling of pity for the entire family. The story flips back and forth between Mary?s time in the asylum and her memories beginning with her childhood and leading up to the time after President Lincoln?s assassination. The portrayal of ?Honest Abe? was interesting and showed him as just a simple man, full of honor and influenced by his wife?s strong will. It?s no surprise to me at all that Mary may have been so involved in the politics of her husband, and despite it being something so frowned upon at the time, I found myself thinking of how different Mary Lincoln was from someone like Abigail Adams. I think this book will make a great discussion at our book club meeting and recommend it to anyone looking for a good discussion book. It?s a hefty one, however, so make sure you allow for plenty of time for reading and digesting it?s contents. And, if you are anything like me, you might want some chocolate nearby as I found myself having to constantly ?de-stress?.show more
by Lydia Presley
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