Readers are transported to Capitol Hill, the homes of prominent citizens, and even into former confederate Virginia. Secrets abound and "our young heroes" will not understand what is really happening until it might be too late.
As a Canadian I found Carter's book on the Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln simply riveting right through to the last word. The in's and out's and story weaving is remarkable and mesmerizing.
Good to see that Philip Roth is not the only writer to tackle the "might have been" in American history!
I actually prefer his contemporary settings, and I, like everyone, await the cinematic handling of The EMPEROR...
Where's Oprah when you need her?!
Carter's work is remarkable and deep - he's a writer I've been searching for who ranks with John Irving as a weaver of stories rich in imagination, style and detail.
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln operates under the premise that the 1865 assassination attempt failed and that Lincoln continues to inhabit the White House for another 2 years. His enemies in Congress push to impeach him and there’s a plot underway at the same time. A black female intern at the law firm that represents Lincoln is drawn into both his defence and solving a pair of murders.
Although the novel is of the alternate history variety it offers some insights into the mind set of people at the time. Interestingly, Lincoln’s most vociferous opponents aren’t those who think that he’s gone too far by abolishing slavery but the Radicals, as they were known, who thought he hadn’t gone far enough. Lincoln’s assassination turned him into a martyr and he is now regarded as the greatest President ever. At the time he was not seen that way and the novel reminds us of that.
There is quite a bit of insight into the lives of black people in Washington at the time. While the majority were poor and either fresh out of slavery or perhaps one generation removed there were wealthy and middle-class blacks.
It is no coincidence that the novel takes place in the hypothetical second term of Abraham Lincoln and was published in the second term of the first black President. There are parallels that are worth exploring.
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln is a thoughtful and enjoyable alternate history murder mystery- a rare combination.
A good deal of fun and competent courtroom procedural. A fiesty heroine and the alternative history made this a good beach read.
gbjgaudet thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over
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