Cover Image: The House of Lincoln

The House of Lincoln

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Wow. Where do I start with this one? It has so very much to absorb. But it is worth it. A lot of characters to know and a lot of incidents to read about. For me it falls into the slower category as far as my reading goes. But was such a worthwhile read. 

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
A window into the Lincoln family from the perspective of history. What were Abraham and Mary like before the Presidency? A fresh perspective that brings in other fictional characters that provide their views on the man, the family, and politics.

**Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an electronic ARC and the opportunity to provide feedback on this book.
Was this review helpful?
I tried and tried to get into this one, but unfortunately, the writing was too dense and dry for me to really be able to sink into. I loved the premise of the story, but this was a miss for me, sadly.
Was this review helpful?
‘The House of Lincoln’, by Nancy Horan, is an excellent historical fiction novel based in Springfield, Illinois, hometown to President Lincoln. This is the retelling of the life and death of Abraham Lincoln against the backdrop of a volatile and changing nation. Told through the perspective of various characters, Horan details the courage of the conductors of the underground railroad, the heartbreak of the Civil War, and the savageness of the race riots. Not to be missed.
Was this review helpful?
It took me awhile to get through THE HOUSE OF LINCOLN. There was so much to absorb about all of the characters and their stories. Once I reached the half-way point, I finished the second half in a couple of days. Nancy Horan is a master story-teller. Our book club read, Horan’s LOVING FRANK a few years ago. We had a great discussion! After reading THE HOUSE OF LINCOLN, I know that I am going to recommend it when we choose our books for the year in May. 

I loved Ana Ferreira, a young immigrant from the island of Madeira, Portugal. Their family left Madeira for religious reasons, stopped in Trinidad but the work in the fields in the sun was exhausting. They then immigrated to Springfield, Illinois in 1851, where there was a significant group who spoke Portuguese. I had never heard this before, and as someone who is bilingual, I enjoyed reading familiar phrases. 

As a young teenager, Ana forms a friendship with a black girl Cal. Ana becomes a helper in the Lincoln household and Horan does a wonderful job portraying Mary throughout the entire book. I have a new view of Mary’s life. I also loved the storyline of Mr. Donnegan who helps slaves trying to get to Canada. 

After finishing an ARC of this book, I decided to get the Audible version as I felt I might have missed something. I am so glad I did, as I felt like I was at story time and picked up some things I did not get the first time. Horan covers the period in Springfield from 1851 - the race riots in 1909. My thanks to 
Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. To the reader, you might want to consider the Audible version. I sure enjoyed it for my second reading!
Was this review helpful?
This was a very interesting book.  I

Description: "The House of Lincoln tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's ascendance from rumpled lawyer to U.S. President to Great Emancipator and presents Lincoln’s Midwestern home as a complex third home front of the Civil War."

There was a lot of history packed into this story.  I appreciate the story and a lot of it was thought provoking.

I would recommend this story.  It was a little difficult to follow all of the characters though.  It sometimes feels like it skipped around, although that is hard to do in a story that spans so many years

There were a lot of characters, and while all the stories of the different people were interesting, it was a little hard to follow.  The description listed above lead me to believe that the story was more about Lincoln, but it was really about others in the town more than Lincoln and his family, although Lincoln did play a role in the story.  I really enjoyed the parts of the story where Ana was housekeeper for the Lincolns.  The story after Lincoln's death was a little scattered.  I'm a little confused by the ending - for a slightly longer story, it seemed to end abruptly

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and I'm glad I read it.
Was this review helpful?
What a well done book and so very perfect for this moment in history.  While it’s historical fiction, it has been well researched and Horan weaves a beautiful story of fact and fiction.  It ends just a few years after Lincoln is killed and the civil war has ended, but she helps us to understand that the issues of the war have never gone away.

I recommend this book to everyone.
Was this review helpful?
The House of Lincoln by Nancy Horan is a fascinating historical novel that explores the life of Abraham Lincoln and his family through the eyes of Ana Ferreira, a Portuguese immigrant who works as a domestic servant for the Lincolns.
The House of Lincoln is a sweeping novel that explores a complex and tumultuous period in American history. It is also a deeply personal story about the lives of the people who were caught up in the events of the time.

Horan does an excellent job of bringing both the Lincolns and Ana Ferreira to life. Her characters are complex and well-developed, and their relationships with each other are believable and heartwarming.

The novel also provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, who is often overlooked in historical accounts of her husband's presidency. Horan shows Mary to be a complex and intelligent woman who faced many challenges in her life.

The House of Lincoln is a must-read for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, or the American experience. It is a well-written and informative novel that offers a unique perspective on one of the most important periods in American history.

Overall, I highly recommend The House of Lincoln. It is an excellent work of historical fiction that is both entertaining and informative.
Was this review helpful?
Abraham Lincoln was certainly an amazing man as is evident in Horan's insightful historical fiction account of his life.   
The parts concerning the historical aspects of the Civil War and the struggle for racial equality were fascinating.  The fictional account of the relationship between 2 close friends, Cal and Ana, seemed a bit too contrived.
Good read-
Was this review helpful?
The House of Lincoln takes readers on a literary trip through the huge changes in America, from Abraham Lincoln being a traveling lawyer living in Springfield, becoming a politician, a member of the Republican Party, his debates with Stephen Douglas, being elected as 16th president, the confederate states succeeding, the Civil War, his tragic death and Ana experiencing the racial riots in 1908.  A different take on the life of Abraham Lincoln. This story is told from the point of view of a young Portuguese refugee, Ana, who went to work for the Lincoln's as a Saturday girl. She not only looked after the children, but did some housework. As she aged she become more indispensable to Mary Todd Lincoln.  The book moves through the well known life of Lincoln, almost as an after thought. It concentrates more on his private life and how that affected Ana, his home town of Springfield and his family life in the White House. Once assassinated the story moves more to Mary, but still remains on Ana and her adult life.  Taking place in the 1840's to the 1890's the story depicts the Underground Railroad, the Springfield race riots, and the Civil War. With Illinois being my home state, I have studied a lot about Abraham Lincoln and believe that this historical fiction book was well researched. The slant of bringing in a house girl to tell the story was ingenious and made the reading from her point of view interesting.  The House of Lincoln is a intricate, compelling, informative tale by Horan that does a wonderful job of highlighting her impressive research and knowledge of this complex, influential figure who strove during his short time in office to abolish slavery and give African Americans the civil and social freedoms they rightly deserved.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark, the author and netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
The House of Lincoln tries to link the story of The Lincolns with a lesser known story and the author only partly succeeds. The plot is a little confusing.
Was this review helpful?
When I first started this book I didn’t find it to be the best written. The main character who ends up working in the Lincoln household struck me as being too innocent. But as the book progresses and more tragedy befalls the Lincoln family, I was completely taken in by the book, By the end after the story of a local race riot and the conclusions that the main character reaches are truly devastating. There is nothing sweet nor simple about the last part of the book,neither the fate of an extremely beleaguered Mrs. Lincoln nor the conclusions the main character comes to by the end. It’s a very powerful book and very painful to read at the same time. Not having grown up in the United States I never knew anything about Abraham Lincoln nor really anything about the plight of former slaves trying to escape north to be free of their horrible internment Throughout the book two arguments are presented-America is only for white Americans of European descent or Black Americans who have lived in the country as long,are entitled to call it their home, they have helped build the country.  In end this book becomes very angry,rightfully so,and very very sad. A great book makes you want to continue your reading with other books along the same subject and this is what I plan to do. Congratulations to the author for writing such a passionate and intellectually stimulating book. At times I did find the characterization clunky,but the anger of the story  carries  very well through.
Was this review helpful?
‘The House of Lincoln’, by Nancy Horan, is an excellent historical fiction novel based in Springfield, Illinois, hometown to President Lincoln.  Ms. Horan has done a wonderful job of combining historical facts before, during and after Lincoln’s assassination, with a friendship of two unlikely little girls.   This is my second Nancy Horan novel, and will definitely not be my last.
Was this review helpful?
This story offers a view of Lincoln by those who knew him in a way that is both important and fresh even to someone who has read many books about Lincoln over the course of my life. It was rich in detail but not in a way that was too heavy or overwhelming and it was written in a way that told a lovely story while educating me on facets of the Lincoln household and the dynamics of their relationships at the same time. Very well done and highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Good depiction of the relationship between Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, the impact of historical events, and the evolution of their lives. I appreciated Horan's descriptions to make this time come alive and as always she writes a good historical fiction novel. Thank you to #netgalley #thehouseofLincoln #nancyhoran for the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
The most interesting information I found in this book was the description of Mrs. Lincoln, her actions and relationships with the president and other people. I was happy to learn that Mary Todd Lincoln was not the horrid person I was previously led to believe she was and hope this was a true description of her as a person.
Was this review helpful?
Loving Frank, Nancy Horan's first novel I read, is one of my favorite.  The blending of historical figures, tragedy, and fictional characters that we care deeply for is Horan's strong suit.  I found the immigrant's perspective, along with the race riots , KKK, and white supremacy impact at this place and time was intriguing.

I think Loving Frank was a stronger book, one that I connect more with, but this was a great novel nonetheless.  

If you love historical fiction that blend historical facts and people with characters you care about- it's a good choice for you!
Was this review helpful?
Fabulous historical novel about Abraham Lincoln’s life in Springfield IL and his time in the White House. In addition the story includes much about the lives of emigrant and free black families living in Springfield. This book held a special place in my heart as my grandmother who was farm raised in central Illinois made it her mission to teach me about Lincoln’s life from child to adulthood. 
What also made this book special was that the story was shared from the point of view of an emigrant girl named Ana who goes to work for the Lincoln family. We have a first row seat watching the family emerge through many hardships. I enjoyed the insight the author gave about Mary Todd Lincoln. It was also fascinating to witness Lincoln’s views on slavery and the rights of the the black man/women evolve over time. 
Lastly, experiencing the lengths several people in the black community went to hide and move runaway slaves via the Underground Railroad was very educational. In all given my vast knowledge on Lincoln’s life I delighted in feeling a real part of this story. Thank you to  Netgalley and Sourscebooks Publishers for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I'm still undecided about this one. Not what I was expecting. Can't say I didn't like it but not exactly one I'd read again either.
Was this review helpful?
The title of this book allows readers to think the setting will flow with the Lincoln family. It is more about the town of Springfield, Illinois and it's people who knew him.
The story starts well with great character development and quickly fizzles as the Lincolns move to the White House. After Abraham Lincolns death, the chapters are hard to follow through the following 60 years.
Was this review helpful?