On October 23, 1880, the infamous widow of Abraham Lincoln was rescued from death at sea by one of the best known ladies of the stage; it is a fact that Sarah Bernhardt saved Mary Todd Lincoln’s life that fateful autumn day, but author Rev. Jack R. Bonham takes their meeting one step farther and wonders, what would happen if these two women spent an afternoon together? Through Bonham’s imaginings, Sarah Bernhardt helped the long-grieving Mary Lincoln put aside her sadness for a brief window of time and address the tragic events of that long-ago April.
Interspersed through the story of the two women is the tale of the preparations that Lincoln’s assassin made prior to the deed that would cause the young actor’s name to live on forever. John Wilkes Booth killed a sitting president out of a misguided sense of justice, and his actions changed the course of American history. The author creates an interesting juxtaposition between the events leading up to the assassination as well as the imagined time that Mary Lincoln, a much-maligned and misunderstood woman, spent with the inimitable Sarah Bernhardt, one of the greatest actresses of her time.
Acoustic Shadows: Mary Todd Lincoln’s Last Dance, published by Dog Ear Publishing, is a fascinating portrait of one of the most interesting First Ladies in American history. This sympathetic portrayal of a sad and tragic woman will keep the reader turning pages to the very end, and leave the reader wishing to learn more about both the women as well as the man who took it upon himself to end the President’s life. Author Reverend Jack R. Bonham is an accomplished playwright who holds an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. Research for one of his plays caused him to stumble upon the interesting tidbit about Sarah Bernhardt rescuing the former First Lady, and his own fertile imagination took over from there.
For more information, visit www.AcousticShadowsBook.com
Acoustic Shadows: Mary Todd Lincoln’s Last Dance
Rev. Jack R. Bonham
ISBN: 978-160844-321-5 204 pages $16.95 US
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