Sunday, April 01, 2007

Thomas Mallon, Henry and Clara.

Thomas Mallon, Henry and Clara. I don't know why I keep stumbling into historical fiction; it's a genre I don't usually pursue. But this disquieting novel was one of those whose setting doesn't seem to inhibit the story and the historical characters seem to be themselves and not figures brought in from outside. It's the story of the unhappy couple who were attending the theatre with the Lincolns on the evening of the assassination. Mallon writes beautifully and his story, a tragic melodrama, is somehow nostalgic beyond the subject matter. Clara could be transported into a Henry James novel without any rearrangement.

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