Some Brief Early Thoughts on Thomas Mallon’s Henry and Clara

Henry and Clara cover image

I didn’t read all day today – not by a long shot – but I did do some other things, like getting lost in the Financial District in the rain and interviewing a startup CEO and changing my mind about Philz (it’s awesome!) and getting a ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign and giving someone advice on how to draw a castrated person (long story). I’m going to make a concerted effort to set next Friday aside for reading. Setting a day aside for reading really is an awfully civilized thing to do.

I’m reading Thomas Mallon’s Henry and Clara. It’s the first in his series of historical novels about U.S. history. It’s about Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris, the young engaged couple who were in the presidential box with Lincoln on the night he was shot in Ford’s Theatre. For some reason I expected the whole novel to cover the night of the shooting, with lots of detail and psychological realism, but the novel actually begins almost twenty years earlier, when Henry and Clara met because Henry’s mother married Clara’s father. They fall in love while they are still teenaged step-siblings, but their parents refuse to let them get married because they think it would be a scandal, even though Henry and Clara are not blood relatives. I’m enjoying the book, even though it’s clear that Mallon is a historian first and a fiction writer second. I’m hoping to be done by Sunday so I can review the book in detail.

This entry was posted in Authors, Fiction - general, Fiction - Historical, Glimpses into Real Life, Reviews by Bethany, Thomas Mallon, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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