So I had a marathon reading day yesterday, but since Landon keeps getting asked to work 13-hour days, I'm having plenty of time to read. I finished Abigail & John yesterday which was perfect since my first Book Club is tonight.
Review: I love this book! I really enjoy history, but I get frustrated that I don’t feel like I really see what it was like for the average person to live in a certain time. You learn about the poor and the rich and the politics and the economy, but what if that’s all anyone knew about our time? If they only focused on our bad economy or the wars going on, they would have no idea what our day-to-day life was like.
That’s one of the main reasons I liked this book. It gives you an insiders look on this fascinating time period. Through Abigail’s letters you see how common death was. Women died giving birth all the time. Two of her sons died of alcoholism and her daughter died of breast cancer before both Abigail and John passed on. They didn’t have anesthesia while they operated, and most surgeries were done at home. These difficult details about the early American period are often forgotten when we reminisce about the way things used to be.
Abigail’s life seems picturesque to many. She had the luxury of having time to read literature and write letters, but their lack of conveniences was astounding. It took weeks and months for her to travel to see family. Today, we can just skype or take a weekend flight to see each other. You would also think life would be lavish for the President of the United States (Whose son also became the President), but Abigail and John were poor much of their lives. They deplored debt and lived frugally and without much financial security throughout their marriage. I finished the book with a tremendous respect for them both.
I definitely recommend this book, especially if you're an American history buff. The end did seem to drag a little, but I was trying to read a large amount of the end in just a few hours. It's action, it's romance, it's history, it's great. What book should I read next?