Bella isn’t evil. But even people with good intentions can end up doing bad things. Especially when they meet people with the power to persuade them to do almost anything, like John Wilkes Booth—the most charismatic and famous actor of his time.
So when Booth sets his sights on Bella, an assistant seamstress to Mary Todd Lincoln, to help with his plot to kidnap President Lincoln, he is able to persuade her to betray her president and even turn her back on the boy she has loved her entire life. Bella believes Booth is only trying to force the North to release Southern war prisoners, and will not harm her dear friend Mr. Lincoln. But the kidnapping plot fails, and now Booth will stop at nothing--even if it means harming Bella in the process.
Anna Myers has crafted a provocative new look at the Lincoln assassination through the eyes of both a young White House insider and the assassin himself. An author’s note provides the historical background to this tragic event.
Arabella "Bella" Getchel is taken from her home in Richmond, Virginia after her mother dies to Washington City, the American capital, where she lives with her grandmother. Here she grows up, going to school at a back alley building meeting Steven, the boy that will be her closest and dearest friend and learning to sew. But she also fights the internal battle of whether her allegiances lie in the North, the place where she's made a home or the South, her home and the side her father is a soldier for. Meeting John Wilkes Booth only causes the chism within her to grow wider. It's all a matter of who Bella is willing to betray, who will she choose?
This book is told in alternating perspectives of Bella and John Wilkes Booth, who preferred to be called Wilkes. I feel like this adds to the development of not only the story but the individual characters. It's also great how the author lets each character grow separately before uniting them. The concept of an accomplice we didn't know about, one that no one would expect is very interesting. Who would think a 14-year-old seamstress wanting to be an actress would take part in President Lincoln's assassination?
Civil War junkies, like myself, will ove this book, but also anyone who wondered who was John Wilkes Booth before he murdered Lincoln. It's a different view of the effect the civil war had on civilians and just how influencial Abraham Lincoln was in life. A great read for both middle-grade and young adult readers alike.