Monday, July 22, 2013

“On Secret Service” by John Jakes – a summer read

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“On Secret Service” by John Jakes – a summer read

The book has a Cancelled stamp in it but also a “New Until” sticker on the front cover.  The date on that sticker is January 2001 and it is from the Toronto Public Library. I found it laying on a shelf in a senior’s residence.  It was withdrawn from the Public Library of Toronto not long ago.  Finally it was published in 2000… so it is not that old. Why with draw it from a Public Library so early?

As I thumbed through the copy I looked closer at the title.  It was entitled “On Secret Service” and author is John Jakes.  Looking still closer I found that it was a story about the Civil War and had Abe Lincoln mentioned a number of times.  Lincoln being one of my relatives and also the fact that we collect Lincoln memorabilia it seemed like a book I should read this summer.

Well it is a story well woven and one that follows both men and women on all sides of the terrible conflict in the USA – entitled “Civil War”. Yikes there was nothing Civil about this War – after reading Mr. Jakes’ book!

It has been a good summer read for sure.  But you have to love the intrigue that comes from clandestine operations and secret actions of devious people.  “On Secret Service” has all of that.

I discovered when looking at the front cover there is a small wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth – almost exactly the same as the one we have hanging on our wall. However checking the Internet I found that our poster is not worth nearly as much as I would like to have been worth – i.e. $200,000 USD!!  Maybe it is $24.95 on e-Bay… hmmm?

Reading of the story that Jakes related has been fascinating. It opened my eyes to the times in the USA that it was very hard to live in… and thus one of the reasons for my relatives to come north to Canada.  I can only imagine how hard it was to live through the Civil War times… and Jakes made it easier(or harder) to understand. How could any group of people think this kind of thing about each other?

It has been a good summer read.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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