Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Booth's Daughter

Wemmlinger, Raymond. 2007. Booth's Daughter.

Booth's Daughter is a fictionalized account of a troubled family in America's past. Edwin Booth and his daughter Edwina have not had an easy life. Haunted by the actions of her uncle, John Wilkes Booth, Edwina is trying to embrace her family legacy--acting--without being crushed by the family legacy of notoriety. Will anyone ever see her for who she is? Will she forever be either the niece of that mad assassin, John Wilkes Booth, or the daughter of that world renowned actor, Edwin Booth? Can't a girl just be herself? Have her own wants and interests? Edwina Booth is a girl that can't say no. She can't disappoint her father. She can't disappoint her stepmother. She can't speak her mind in fear of causing one of her parents to slip into a 'dark' mood. She is forced into the role of caretaker. She is responsible for making sure her parents stay sane. After her stepmother's death it becomes even worse. She is now the sole person responsible for taking care of her father's moods and tempers. Taking care that he doesn't get upset. Taking care that he doesn't spiral down into depression or rage. But it's a heavy burden. She needs someone to share her load. Is there anyone who can understand her and love her for who she is?

Booth's Daughter is one woman's quest for love and acceptance. Edwina is a very sympathetic character. It's a lonely life. After all, one mustn't advertise the fact that her father's generous, magnanimous spirit is a show. One couldn't let slip the fact that he is jealous, selfish, and at times capable of irrational rage and dark depression. How can a woman balance taking care of her own needs while caring for the needs of others. It isn't an easy journey, but Edwina is a determined soul who doesn't give up easily.

I'm not sure how many readers would go out seeking a book about Edwina Booth...unless they are big fans of GOOD BROTHER, BAD BROTHER...but it is a good book nonetheless. Whether the reader is interested in the acting/theatre angle, the love triangle aspect, or the psychological aspect of dysfunction and mental disorders...Booth's Daughter offers something for everyone.

Miss Erin's review of Booth's Daughter
Chasing Ray's Review of Booth's Daughter


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