Item description for Mary: A Novel by Janis Cooke Newman...
An engrossing novel about Mary Todd Lincoln – one of history's most misunderstood and enigmatic women.
Writing from Bellevue asylum — where the shrieks of the other inmates keep her awake at night — a famous widow can finally share the story of her life in her own words. From her tempestuous childhood in a slaveholding Southern family through the opium-clouded years after her husband's death, we are let into the inner, intimate world of this brave and fascinating woman.
Intelligent, unconventional–and, some thought, mad–she held spiritualist séances in the White House, ran her family into debt with compulsive shopping, negotiated with conniving politicians, and raised her young sons in the nation's capital during the bloodiest war this country has ever known. She was also a political strategist, a comfort to wounded soldiers, a supporter of emancipation, the first to be called First Lady, and a wife and mother who survived the loss of three children and the assassination of her beloved husband.
Interwoven with her memories of the past, she describes life in the asylum, where the treatment for lunacy is bland food, cold baths, and the near-lethal doses of chloral hydrate. It is here where we meet her friends, the anorectic Minnie Judd, who is starving herself to win the affection of her beautiful husband; and to Myra Bradwell, the suffragist lawyer who helps her win her freedom.
A dramatic tale filled with passion and depression, poverty and ridicule, infidelity and redemption, this is the unforgettable story of Mary Todd Lincoln. Praise for Janis Cooke Newman:
“The Russian Word for Snow [is] a nail-biting adoption saga with a happy ending.” — People
“Lovely, image-laden prose...lingers in the reader's mind.” — Publishers Weekly
“…about the alchemy of desire, courage, grace…[Her] story is compelling. It is poetry. It is true. It held me transfixed as I read.” — Beth Kephart, author of the 1998 National Book Award finalist A Slant of Sun
Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the memoir, The Russian Word for Snow, published in the U.S., Germany, and Australia. Her travel writing has appeared in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Dallas Morning News. She lives in Northern California, where she teaches writing classes at the renowned independent bookseller, Book Passage. Maryis her first novel.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 2" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 2.55 lbs.
Release Date Sep 11, 2006
Publisher MacAdam Cage
ISBN 193156163X ISBN13 9781931561631
Availability 0 units.
More About Janis Cooke Newman
Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the novel Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln, and the memoir, The Russian Word for Snow. She is the founder of the Lit Camp writers conference.
From the Hardcover edition."
Janis Cooke Newman currently resides in San Francisco.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mary: A Novel?
Great Read!!! Aug 17, 2008
I just finished the book and am hungry to know the truth of both Mr and Mrs Lincoln starting with did Mary have an affair? And if she did have an affair did President Lincoln treat her the way it was described in the book? Other that that I am ignorant to any omittions of truths left out by the author for the sake of the fictional story she was trying to create, however I am going to purchase the biography Mary Todd Lincoln as suggested in the acknowledgments of the book. The book was an excellent read I will recommend it to anyone who will listen. Mrs Lincoln was a facinating person as well as her husband. The author did a great job of conveying emotion. I will read this book again .
Added to my list of favorites Jun 5, 2008
Picked this up at a used bookstore and thought it looked interesting...I'm so glad that I found it. I enjoyed every page and had a hard time putting it down. Loved the first-person narrative. Found the whole story of Mrs. Lincoln fascinating (I had no prior knowledge of the events in her life)...her love story with and marriage to Abraham, her tense relationship with Robert, the loss of her younger sons, her involvement in politics, her overwhelming need to contact the spiritual world, her (?)mental illness, and her commital to an insane asylum. I plan to now pursue more nonfiction reading about her life so that I can separate the fictional aspects of the story from fact. Looking forward to learning more.
An interesting look into the life of Mary Lincoln - from her perspective. Jun 4, 2008
A friend loaned me this book with high recommendations, and I found that I enjoyed the story and "learning" about Mary Lincoln - even if it was historical fiction. I now have a desire to learn more about Mary Lincoln and will check out the biography by Jean Baker. This isn't normally the type of book I would read, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and will also pass it on to a friend.
MARY LINCOLN May 2, 2008
HELPS THE READER TIE TOGETHER ALL THE LOOSE ENDS THAT HISTORY LEAVES ABOUT WHAT SHAPED THE PERSON OF MARY LINCOLN. EMOTIONALLY DIFFICULT AT TIMES BECAUSE SOCIETY, GOVERNMENT, AND FAMILY DID NOT TRY TO UNDERSTAND HER ANGUISH. LOSING HER MOTHER, A DISTANT STEP-MOTHER, THE DEATHS OF 3 OF HER CHILDREN AND THE MURDER OF A HUSBAND SHE ADDORED PUT HER INTO A STATE OF DISTRAUGHT EMOTIONS THAT SHE NEVER RECOVERED FROM. AS A DEVOTEE OF MARY LINCOLN, AN EXCELLENT READ.
A Great Into to Mary Todd Lincoln readers Apr 23, 2008
This book is one of the first that I have read about the life and times of Mary Todd Lincoln. After reading it, I am anxious to read more. What does that tell you? To me, it says that this work of historical fiction did its job. It picqued my interest at the level to make me want to continue to explore more on my own. This book was recommended to me by a friend - historical fiction, yes....but well written and much enjoyed.