As a lover of historical fiction I jumped on the chance to review and spotlight Courting Mr. Lincoln on here and on my Instagram. While this a historical fiction it is based on true life. The underlining plot line is the courtship of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln and since I know they eventually marry there was a little suspense removed. Louis Bayard did a great job of filling in the details that modern day American’s would not have known making the story fresh and new. There was a lot of back story and characters that I felt were unnecessary, as the story unfolds thought I saw the importance of the details and each individual to make this read the great love story that it was.
When I think of Lincoln I think of the president, the emancipation, the tall honest Abe but in this portrayal, at least in the beginning of his interest to Mary Todd he comes off as so timid and so unsure of who he is and who he is supposed to be. As the story progresses though I find my confidence as Lincoln finds his. He transforms from a backwoods, country lawyer rough around the edges in to the famous politician we know.
I loved the rebel side of Mary Todd and the juxtaposition of her to Abe. I also loved the portrayal of Mary Todd in her youth as opposed to the mournful and depressed Mary Todd often shown in movies and other books, after the loss of her child.
My favorite character was Mr. Joshua Speed. The way the reader learned who Lincoln was through Speed’s eyes was brilliant and the Lincoln’s have Speed to think for their romance as Speed was the teacher, the confidant, the encourager of Mr. Lincoln in his pursuit of Mary.
I loved this story and I think Algonquin Books for their gift of the paper back in exchange for my honest opinion and spotlight feature.