Friday, November 17, 2006

Review: An Aquaintance with Darkness

An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi

After 5 bloody years of conflict, the Civil War finally has come to an end. But the day the war ends is not a happy one for Emily Pigbush. While the rest of Washington is celebrating, Emily is mourning the death or her mother, leaving her an orphan. Following her late mother’s wishes, Emily moves in with her Uncle Valentine, a successful doctor in Washington DC. However, she soon learns of several suspicious acts occurring around her uncle’s practice. Could Uncle Valentine really be an illegal grave robber?

Meanwhile, Annie Surratt, Emily’s best friend, has her own problems. Annie’s mother has been accused of being involved with the people who planned Lincoln’s assassination. Since Annie’s mother runs the boarding house where the accused lived, the government suspects she also planned Lincoln’s murder. Can Emily help her friend while finding out what Uncle Valentine is up to?

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I’m a big Ann Rinaldi fan. This book has been one of my favorites since I read it a few years ago. It became really hard to find, but has recently been re-released with a new cover (which I think is better than the old one). This book satisfies my cravings for a good Rinaldi novel, but also offers something different. Rather than focusing on the historical events (in this case, Lincoln’s assassination and the criminal trial that followed), the book offers us a look at a time period in general. Emily’s life reflects the uncertainty and turmoil that was rampant in Washington DC at the close of the Civil War. Overall, a great historical read, especially if you are interested in the time period.

Shady Glade Rating: 7/10

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