Book Review: ‘Fates And Traitors’ Is An Interesting Look At What John Wilkes Booth’s Life Might Have Been Like

A work of fiction inspired by history (as noted in the author notes) Fates And Traitors (Dutton; on sale Tuesday, September 13) is an interesting look at what the life of John Wilkes Booth might have been like.

The story starts out right after he assassinated President Lincoln. He is surrounded and shot when he won’t surrender. The story then goes to him as a child and what his childhood was like. He father was a famous actor always out on tour (who also drank and gambled). His mother, who we learn was his mistress as he was married to another and just left her.

The book is divided into four chapters looking at the women in his life, which include his mother Mary Ann, his sister Asia, the love of his life Lucy and Mary who conspired with him (which only included kidnapping him not murder).

Author Jennifer Chiaverini has written a fascinating look (I couldn’t put the book down) at what could have been his life. Parts of the book are based on actual facts but the rest is purely fiction.

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