Hanging Mary – Week 1

The Civil War is raging forward. Each member of the Surratt boarding house, pledge their own loyalties, but their lives are intertwined far more than they know. While they maintain their friendships and their loyalties, each suspects where the other lies, but no one knows for sure. Mary is more concerned about paying off her late husbands debts, but she has a son fighting for the Confederacy. Anna, her daughter is thrilled at being in Washington, and even more enthralled with the handsome John Wilkes Booth who is a friend of her brother Johnny. Mr. Weichmann works for the War Department, and Nora spends her days reading to the Union soldiers in the hospitals. She is also enjoying the visits from Mr. Booth, but stays out of the rest of the affairs going on in the house.

Truthfully, Johnny does not share information, so as far as anyone is concerned, he and Mr. Booth are just friends, although Mary knows that there is a lot more going on than what she is being told. Strange people coming and going, always asking for her son, and staying only a day or two. When he begins to spend more and more time from home, Mary is concerned as she feels that the Confederacy is failing, but what can she do? While she has one son off fighting, with no word of safety or harm, she does not want to lose her other son to anger.

With President Lincoln having been elected to a second term, Nora attends the inagural speech with her father and brother, she notices just one person in the crowd who is not smiling.. John Wilkes Booth…

This week we are reading Chapters 1-13


  1. Nora had a good place with the older ladies who ran a respectable house. Would she have been better off staying with them?
  2. Mr. Booth has a charm about him, one that makes him both endearing and dangerous. Should Mary have been more forthright with her son about becoming to involved with him?
  3. Does the intertwining lives of each character flesh out the story more?