Stand by Karen Joy Fowler: enjoyable and extremely poignant

Bestinau got that-

Assassins catapult into the public consciousness and then the history books courtesy of what is usually their final act, an outburst of violence so blatant that the search for a motive is already skewed in favor of aberration and instability. Their friends and family also come into view through that very specific lens, and their own horror somehow marks them as naive brats, oblivious to the true nature of their loved one.

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler, author of the much-loved We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, attempts some form of correction for this state of affairs, the title of her novel itself suggesting it could refer to several of his characters. The most infamous, however, is John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in a Washington theater in April 1865, just days after Robert E Lee ceded victory to the unionists in the American Civil War. Like the regicides over the millennia – one of his obsessive fears that America would become a monarchy, with Lincoln as king – Booth has become a conspiracy magnet, scrutinizing every detail of his life and death.

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