LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2022
A SUNDAY TIMES HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2022
AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4 OPEN BOOK
‘Brilliantly recounts the story of the American theatrical dynasty that produced Lincoln’s assassin’ Sunday Times Book of the Month
In 1822, a stage is set: Englishman Junius Booth – celebrated Shakespearean actor and man of mesmerising charm and instability – moves to a remote cabin outside Baltimore with his wife, who bears him ten children.
Of the six who survive infancy, one is John Wilkes – the hot-tempered but much-loved middle son who, in 1865, fatally shoots Abraham Lincoln in a Washington theatre, changing the course of history.
What makes a murderer? His family or the world? And how can those who love him ever come to terms with his actions? Strikingly relevant to the world today, Booth is the story of one extraordinary family and the terrible act that shattered their bonds forever.