Literary Sojourn Book Discussion


Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Conference Room or Virtually via Zoom
Fate, history, and chance collide in Karen Joy Fowler’s riveting historical novel. . . . reckoning of a past that seems too much a prologue to our American present.

About the Book 

John Wilkes Booth needs no introduction, but this isn't really his story. Instead, it is his family, most especially his siblings, who takes center stage. There is "poor" Rosalie, steady and ignored; Junius, a lesser talent than the father for whom he was named; Edwin, introspective and damaged yet brilliant when performing; Asia, beautiful and self-absorbed. All are shaped by the downstream effect of an alcoholic, mercurial, often-absent father and a mother overburdened to the point of collapse. Scandal, loss, and straightened finances plague the family, but worse is yet to come. Interspersed with the lives of the Booths are cherry-picked Lincoln quotations along with a didactic political history meant to relate events to current politics. All builds towards "Johnny's" terrible act and its consequences for his siblings, the unjust suffering of guilt by association. In her first historical novel in a decade, the best-selling Fowler (Black Glass, 2015) presents an omniscient, bird's-eye view of these lives, along with a nod to what could be apocryphal. The result is an engrossing portrayal of a nineteenth-century family living through the U.S.' most turbulent era.or every kind of love—family, romantic, and of the self.

Learn more about Steamboat's Literary Sojourn festival of authors on Sept. 10, 2022.



The Literary Sojourn Author Study has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Funding has been provided to Bud Werner Memorial Library by Colorado Humanities from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Colorado Humanities.

About the Club 

The Lunchtime Book Club meets once a month and is facilitated by Bud Werner Library's Circulation Services Manager, Michelle Dover. Open to anyone interested in participating, this club meets during lunch and is designed to be inclusive, supportive and meet the needs and interests of the group. No need to attend all of the discussions, just pick the ones that interest you! The group is limited to 15 participants per meeting. Sign up at the circulation desk, call 879-0240, or use the registration button at the top of this page.