BY GARY MOORE
Publication Date: May 15, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 220 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
ABE & ANN brings to life the little-known story of Abraham Lincoln’s passionate romance with Ann Rutledge when he was young and timid and hopelessly in love. Years later he would be enthroned in Washington after saving democracy, his wisdom and greatness legendary. Was it all because of a woman?
Auburn-haired Ann Rutledge, feisty and fed-up with propriety, is frontier royalty, the 18-year-old daughter of the founder of the village where the 22-year-old Lincoln comes looking for work. She is lively and literate and funny, and Abe is homely and poor, but full of high ambition. Lincoln courts the dazzling red-haired woman who comes into his life like a revelation. In the spell of their feelings, the lovers question the limits in their lives and boldly dream of a better future. But she is engaged to another man.
Readers who enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestselling Lincoln book Team of Rivals, Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film Lincoln, and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo will marvel again at this very different and compelling tale of Lincoln as a young man.
Not a grand historical treatment but a lyrical telling of a deeply personal tale, ABE & ANN dares to give readers an earnest but untutored Lincoln whose humanity every reader can share, who was weak before he was strong, frightened before he was bold, and deeply in love with a woman whose admiration confirmed the greatness growing within him.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE
A young Abraham Lincoln sets off to the town of New Salem, Indiana in order to run a general store. Abe is poor, looking for work that is anything but farming and also hopes to run into a woman that he has briefly met before, Ann Rutledge. Ann's family run the Tavern in town and that is where Abe plans to stay, at least until his money runs out. During Abe's stay, he runs a store poorly and runs a militia well. All the while, he and Ann grow a well-guarded relationship centered around grammar, symbols and signs. When Ann becomes engaged and moves, Abe follows while taking the job of a surveyor while campaigning for legislature and finds out just how strong their relationship can be.
Abe & Ann is a look into Abraham Lincoln as a young man and not the formidable President that we usually think of him as. At this point in time, Abe is just starting out with no money and no education, but he does have a lot of confidence, personality and willingness to learn. His bravery shines through immediately when he decides to room at Ann's Tavern. It was interesting to see Abe in this light, where his confidence is still growing and he is constantly having to pull himself up in order to survive. I was intrigued to learn about Abe's early path to the Presidency and how this time of his life clearly influenced how he lead and policies he held. Ann was a force, a woman who deserved better than the time she lived in. Ann tried to re-write the rules favorably for herself and Abe. It was a delight to see how she was able to fit in jabs and innuendo when they spoke. Written in the third person with a lot of introspective thoughts for each character, we are really given a close look inside Abe & Ann's heads- this is good because a lot of what each character has to communicate to the other is unspoken and communicated through signals, signs and wordplay. However, for me the third person point of view failed to help me connect with a character. That being said, the point of view also led to a lyrical and poetic prose, tying in the themes of grammar, poetry and symbolism for the slow, steady and nurtured love that grew between Abe & Ann.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Author Gary Moore is a playwright and poet who has been making creative use of Abraham Lincoln in drama, poetry, and performance art for more than thirty years. Gary’s bilingual musical in Shanghai, The Great Emancipator Meets The Monkey King, introduced rap-music to the People’s Republic of China six months before Tiananmen. His play based on that experience, Burning in China, sold out at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival after being featured in the New York Times and recommended by the New Yorker. ABE & ANN, to be published by Komatik Press in May, 2019, is his first novel.
WEBSITE | GOODREADS