October 27, 2016

Love is Eternal

Right off the bat, I will say that history buffs will love Love is Eternal by Irving Stone. The story goes through the lives of Abraham and Mary Lincoln with stunning accuracy. For those who prefer fiction, this book also creates fictional accounts of the Lincolns' lesser known personal lives, pulling the reader into their struggles and fears as well as their joys. These two literary genres are completely different, but Irving Stone, like the wonderful writer he is, weaves the two genres together perfectly into a marvelous story based on the Lincolns. Please note that this book is very long and has been broken down into eight smaller books for easier reading.

Mary Todd never expected her life to turn out the way it did; after being the first female graduate of a completely male dominated school, Mary wasn't sure where her life would take her. As was common of the Todd women, she traveled to Springfield in hopes of finding a husband like her two older sisters had. All the Todd women had married respectable doctors of lawyers, so Mary was expected to do the same. What would her family do if they knew what sort of man she was attracted to? He was a tall, gangly young lawyer who had descended into her life quite literally from heaven, dropping through a trap door of the courthouse. He had been raised in the backwoods and had only had a year or two of school learning. He was completely different from any man Mary had ever met, which made him oddly appealing. And his name was Abraham Lincoln. Mary and Abraham seemed to have a doomed love from the start, and they were complete opposites. Were they too different for love?

Irving Stone has outdone himself with this stupendous piece of literature, an instant classic. A treat for young and old alike, no matter your opinion of historical fiction or your views on the Lincolns, you cannot afford to miss this novel. I would not recommend this book to children under 10, as the story ends tragically (Abraham's death), which younger children might find distressing. Also, the story itself revolves around the tension and stress of the presidency, and mild profanity is used a few times. In my opinion, that is a little heavy for children under 10.


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