Tag Archives: 2017-2018

Rugby Falls Short in Bid for Repeat State Title


One year ago, in its first season as a varsity sport, Hanover brought home the inaugural Division 2 State Title. This year, having stormed through the tournament, the team had hoped for the same outcome. But despite a strong season, it was not to be.

The Indians lost to Milton, their opponent in last year’s title game as well at Newton Douth High School on June 23. Hanover took the early lead on a score by Ethan Davis and kept the game close through the first half.  But they could not stop third-seeded Milton, who finshed 6-2 on the regular season. Final score was 32-14.

Led by captains Rian Boutin, JT Galvin, Jack Randall and Stephen Zinke, Hanover went 4-2 and earned 4th seed in the tournament. They beat 5th seed Weymouth (4-2-1) in the quarterfinals June 7 by a score of 48-33. In the semifinal June 14, the boys crushed top seed Catholic Memorial, 70-14. Corey Dooley, Cade Frucci, Jack Delahunt and Sam Perkins all scored for Hanover.

Dooley, Perkins, Zinke, Frucci and John Dailey were named League All-Stars. Frucci and Dooley also earned Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic.

Hanover Mariner Pictures


This powerhouse team, loaded with players who had started for three or four years, hoped to go deep into the Division 3 South tournament. With pitcher Aidan Henderson going 9-0 on the mound, the team finished the regular season 17-3 and took home the Patriot League Fisher Division championship. They were seeded 2nd going into the tourney and scored a first-round bye.  But a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to 16th seed Falmouth knocked the team out in the second round.

Henderson, Aaron Boise, Liam Flynn and Andrew Carroll led the team as captains. The Simon brothers drove the offense, with Steve leading the league in batting for the second straight year and Mike taking the number 2 spot. Henderson, Flynn, both Simons and catcher Zach Stone were named league All-Stars. Henderson and the Simon brothers were also named Patriot Ledger All-Scholastics, while Steve received a further nod from the Boston Herald. In addition, Steve Simon was chosen to play in the MBCA Junior Select State All Star Game at Bentley College on June 17.

With Carroll, Mike and Steve Simon, and other underclassmen returning next year, hopes are high for another strong season.


Led by senior captains Lauren Gelly and Cameron Porzio, the team was a force to reckon with all season. They went  16-4 to earn 6th seed in Division 3 South. Gelly, Maegan Amsler, Caroline Zielinski and Katie Doyle were named Patriot League-Fisher Division All Stars. Zielinski, a consistent standout on the mound with 170 strikeouts on the season, also picked up league MVP.  After getting a first-round bye, the team topped 11th seed Medford 3-1 on June 9. They took 3rd seed Middleboro to 10 innings in the sectional quarterfinals on June 12, but lost 3-2.

Amsler, Gelly and Zielinski earned Patriot Ledger All-Scholastics. With Amsler, Zielinski and many others  returning next season, we’re sure to see more fight from this team.

Hanover Mariner Pictures

Girls Lacrosse

Behind the solid play of goalie Maeve McCarthy and midfielders Sydney Weber, Clare Connolly, Caitlin Park and Caroline Gordon, the team made it to the Division 2 South semifinals. Hanover finished the regular season 13-5 and earned 4th seed. The girls cruised past 13th seed Sacred Heart, 17-4 in the first round, and then topped 5th seeded Sandwich 11-6. But the championship run ended in the semifinals in a tough loss to top-seeded Norwell  on June 11.  Norwell (16-3) earned their fourth straight trip to the sectional final with a 18-2 win.

Despite the loss, the team showed great improvement from the start of the season to its end. Senior captains Jess Cully and Alyssa Wilcox set a strong example, earning MIAA Educational Athletics Achievement Awards for Leadership. Gordon, McCarthy, Weber and Megan Ross were named League All-Stars. Gordon also received a nod as a Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic.

There arehigh hopes for next season, with a lot of young talent and Cully, Wilcox and Lia Ehlers the only three seniors graduating.

Boys Lacrosse

Last year, the boys lacrosse team made it to the state semifinals of Division 3.  This year, after graduating 13 members of that team, Hanover moved to Division 2. The young team struggled with injuries and finished 4-12, earning the 15th seed and a tough first-round tournament matchup against 2nd seed Scituate. In a cold and rainy game June 4, Scituate defeated the Indians 14-6.

Team captains were Neil Calkin, Ben Fein and Chris Greene. Greene was named a Patriot League All-Star.

Pictures from the Patriot Ledger

Boys Tennis

After finishing the regular season 13-5,  the squad earned 6th seed in Division 2 South tournament. In their first-round matchup, they beat 11th seed Milton (9-9) 4-1. Nikolas Ginter racked up his 50th win during the match, on his way to becoming a League All-Star and a Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic. A 3-2 loss to 3rd seed Scituate, however, ended their season on June 8.

Captains were Ginter and Evan Suchoff.

Girls Tennis

If you could win matches based on how much fun you were having, Hanover would have been undefeated. Although the team failed to make tournament, there was a strong sense of camaraderie. They may have won only two matches, but they had a lot of fun on the courts together. Team captains were Chloe McKee and Becca Prentice, who was also named a League All-Star.

Outdoor Track

Gillian Kenney continued the legacy of her sister, Niamh, who graduated in 2017. Gillian set the school record in the mile run – twice – this season (5:03.03) and was named Patriot League-Fisher Division MVP.  The team sent several athletes to the Division 3 championship meet at North Reading High School on May 26. The boys were represented by mile-runner Chris Pacino, two-miler Nick Courtney, high jumper Jake Laprise and sprinter Garrett Madison. For the girls team, Alyssa Nee competed in the 400 meters and Audrey Wheeler ran the two mile. Nee, Wheeler, Jordanna Laprise and Erin Flynn joined for the 4×800 relay.

Captains were Bryan Hoyt, Nick O’Hara, Kevin Talbot, Jessica Blazo and Olivia Salvas.

Special Awards at HHS Sports Banquet

The recipient of the Athlete of the Year Award is a student who consistently performs at an elite level during his or her season and is integral to the overall success of the team. This year, the winners were Lauren O’Sullivan and Zach Taylor.

The Paragon Award is presented to the HHS senior athlete
that demonstrates excellence in academics, athletics,
leadership, and character. The 2018 winner was Alyssa Wilcox.

Brad Stevens, Our Hero

The Boston Celtics were the number two seed going into the Eastern Conference playoffs, but still many people in the sports world counted them out. The main reason was because the Celtics would be missing their two best players for the entire playoffs, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. They also lost Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown to injuries for multiple games. But one person that can’t get hurt is Brad Stevens, manager of the team and the mastermind behind the Celtics success.

Their first round matchup was against the young and athletic Milwaukee Bucks team. After winning the first two games at home with dominant performances from Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris, the Celtics traveled to Milwaukee, where they were not as successful. They lost the next two games, which emboldened the doubters, and as the series continued, the home team proved to withstand the opponent and win every game. Luckily, the Celtics had four home games and ended up winning the series in seven games.

Their next opponent would be the Philadelphia 76ers led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Only three out of 20 ESPN analysts chose the Celtics to top the Sixers in this seven-game series. Having seven rookies and two injured All-Stars, the odds were against them. But what often goes overlooked is Brad Stevens, the coach of the Celtics. Brad rallied this team of role players and rookies to stomp on the Sixers in the first game at the Garden. They continued to roll, winning the next two close games. The Celtics, injured and short-handed, were up 3-0 in the series against the highly favored 76ers. No one saw this coming; in fact, a lot of people thought the Sixers were going to sweep the Celtics. After losing the fourth game in Philly, the Celtics defended the Garden once again to close out the series in just five games. The Celtics were now 7-0 in playoff games at the TD Garden this season.

But now came their biggest challenge yet: Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had just swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors. This was a true test for Brad Stevens and the heart of this  Celtics team. Lebron James, the King, had gone to eight straight NBA Finals, and now the only thing standing between him and his ninth was a Celtics team that runs strictly through heart and determination. Can Brad Stevens withstand Lebron James with his shorthanded team or will they once again fall to the hands of the King? The Celtics took the first two games, but were dominated by the Cavs in the third and fell short in the fourth. They return home to the TD Garden for Game 5 on May 23.

Senior Issue: Athletes, Fans Share Special Experience

By Andrew Carroll

Growing up in Hanover, a town with 14,000 people, everyone seems to know what’s happening on any given day. During the fall, Friday night under the lights is the place to be. Hundreds of fans show up to the High School to watch an event that brings the community together. That’s the first thing that makes sports here in Hanover special: the support from our community.

Nowhere was this more evident than during the 2016 season, when the HHS football team had a stellar season and went on to win the Super Bowl for the first time in 40 years. As a member of that team, it was one of the greatest squads I have ever been a part of in my life.  While on the run to the Super Bowl, we played four home games and the community came together on those Friday nights in a way I will never forget. But out of all the games we played, the most special was the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. When we got on the buses that Saturday morning to drive down to Foxbor, hundreds of parents, students, and fans of the team showed up to the High School to send us off. It really shows how much our team meant to the town. When we got to the Stadium and looked at our fan section, nearly the entire town was there, taking up half of Gillette Stadium. People closed down their local business to come watch the game. When we won the Super Bowl, it was amazing to see the joy it brought people and how much they appreciated what we did for the town. Hanover sports teams have won four State Championships since 2016, and that pride and support has followed us every season.

Winning is another thing that makes Hanover High School sports so special. When you play a sport for HHS, you are expected to win, and our teams have experienced a lot of success. Since the Super Bowl win in 2016, Hanover High has brought home championships in boys hockey, boys basketball and rugby. We’ve also had a handful of league MVPs and athletes that have surpassed 100 points in hockey and 1,000 in basketball.

The last thing that makes Sports here at Hanover special is the students, both those who play and those who come out and cheer for every game. As an athlete, I love nothing more than a packed fan section for a big playoff game in the gym. As a fan, making the drive down to Gallo to watch boys hockey is something every single student should try to experience. The fan sections show us that our classmates want to win and succeed just as badly as we do. The Hanover fan section is unlike anything I have ever been a part of. Whether it’s traveling to the Garden for hockey, Springfield for basketball or Beverly for rugby, the super fans of Hanover never fail to show up.

All of the things that make Hanover sports special can’t be found at every school. I truly believe Hanover High School is the best in the area for sports, with all the tremendous coaches we have and the drive to win from the students.

Senior Issue: Big Plans, High Hopes After Graduation

One hundred and eighty-eight students. Athletes. Scholars. Writers, musicians and artists. The Hanover High School Class of 2018 is a group of accomplished individuals eager to leave their mark on the world. Whether through college, work or service to their community and country, seniors have set their sights on securing their future and creating a legacy of which we all can be proud.

Post-graduation plans are taking some students clear across the country.

Lily Hibbard chose Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., in part, she said, because “I hate the cold.” She is thinking about majoring in Environmental Analysis, which is the law and politics of environmental science, or Anthropology. Inspired by a documentary she watched in Mrs. Watts’ Envi Sci course last year, Lily hopes to work for a nonprofit someday that focuses on how access to education in developing countries impacts the environment.

Unlike Lily, Lauren Gelly is ready to embrace the cold when she studies Education and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin. “My parents brought me there to see a Big 10 school and I fell in love with it,” she said. “We New Englanders can handle the weather.”

John Donovan will study Applied Mathematics and Economics at the University of Washington in Seattle. “This was the top public school in the country for it,” he said. He’s not worried about going to school so far from home. “My dad went to school in Oregon, my sister went to California, and my mom went to Hawaii.”

Bridget Hardiman is heading to Ole Miss to study Political Science, drawn by the chance to win a spot in the competitive Trent Lott Leadership Institute. The program focuses on public policy and international relations, which would be solid preparation for Bridget’s future as, say, Secretary of State. “When I joined the debate team sophomore year, I realized I really liked politics,” she said. “My parents always talk about politics, I pretty much grew up with it.” Her only concern about traveling so far from home? “I’m scared they’re going to make fun of my accent.”

Aaron Boise will join the Wolverines of Michigan State, where he plans to major in Criminology. “I’ve loved the college since I was a little kid,” he said. “It’s been my dream to go there.” Internships and classes he had while at HHS helped steer him toward his major.

Victor Costa, who moved to Hanover from Brazil for high school, will start his studies at Massasoit Community College before trying to win a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. He has trained intensively and competed in Taekwondo for years. He is unsure yet which country he would represent.

Many Hanover grads plan to stay closer to home.

Nick O’Hara earned a coveted spot at Harvard University, a school, he said, he “always aspired to and worked hard toward.” He plans to explore a Government or Biology major.

Kristen Nguyen is pursuing Graphic Design at Mass College of Art and Design in Boston. “With art, I  like that I can do whatever I want, whatever comes to my head, and the possibilities are endless.”

Josh Letizia will study Engineering at UMass Dartmouth. “It’s far enough that I’m away from my family but no so far that I can’t still go home and visit,” he said. He will be joined there by Arin Whedbee, who will major in Finance in hopes of owning a real estate company one day. “There are a lot of ways that you can make money in real estate, and it seems like fun to own buildings and land.”

Elizabeth DeMita will attend Bryant College with a major in International Business. “It’s everything I want,” she said, crediting HHS Spanish teacher Mrs. Curtis for introducing her to the field. “You travel the world, learn new languages, and meet new cultures.”

Jake McInerney, will study Marine Transport at Mass Maritime Academy. “I’m not thinking about the college experience, I’m thinking about my future,” he said. “This seemed to be the best investment.”  Will Collett will be among his classmates, majoring in Marine Engineering. “I like the role you play there,” he said. “It’s like a team there.”

Maddy Carroll, who will be attending Ithaca College School of Music, will be studying Jazz Voice with the hopes of appearing on stage professionally. “Music is something that brings people together,” she said.

Wanting to help others was a common theme among Hanover grads.

Jenna Palmer will attend Massasoit to pursue a degree in the medical field, inspired by internships and jobs at South Shore Hospital. “I like to help people, and I’ve talked to a lot of nurses who told me this is a better plan financially.”

Brittany Champagne is heading to the University of Rhode Island to study special education, inspired by the time she’s spent caring for her cousin born with Cerebral Palsy.  “I’ve always knew this was the right path for me.” Jessie Blazo struck a similar chord with her plans to attend Salve Regina, motivated by two cousins with special needs and internships at Cedar School.

Amanda Sullivan will study at Penn State to become one of our most relied upon — and complained about — public figures, a meteorologist. “I like public speaking, I like science and math better than other classes, and I like the weather, so I put two and two together,” she said.

Adri Howell has enrolled at Bridgewater State University to study Marine Biology, specializing in sharks and stingrays. “They’re very misunderstood, and the ocean is such an important part of our world and people don’t understand or care,” she said.

UMass Amherst is, once again, a popular draw for Hanover students.

Mike Stevenson chose the school to study Biochemistry with an eye on becoming a surgeon. “I like taking care of people, doing stuff with my hands, and this seems like a chance to fix the issue instead of just telling people what’s wrong with them,” he said.

He will be joined by John Zarella, whose major in Public Health Science, was inspired by all of his own injuries, and Nick Jones, who will pursue Linguistics and Math. Jones has studied Spanish, American Sign Language, French, Mandarin and Russian and hopes to be an interpreter or translator. “Languages connect people,” he said. “You can’t tell someone how you feel or what you think without language.”

Ritchie Hutchins may bump into all of them on campus as he studies Engineering, citing the school’s reputation as the best campus dining hall in the nation. “Thankfully, it comes with a free gym membership.”

Campus visits were an important factor in deciding on a college for many students.

Jacki Campbell will attend Regis College in Weston to study Nursing, the profession she dreamed of since she was a child. She chose Regis for its size and diversity. “When I visited and saw people walking around campus, there was not one person walking alone,” she said. “You knew that if you went there, you’d make tons of friends.”

Pierce Ghostlaw, who will be attending Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, is deciding between a major in Education or Environmental Science. He’s also interested in a program that prepares students for the Peace Corps. “I fell in love with Vermont when my sister went to college there,” he said. “When I visited, everyone was super friendly and nice.”

Rachel McGurrin is heading to Western New England University in Springfield to study Forensic Chemistry. “I’ve always been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of criminal investigations,” she said. “When I stepped onto the campus, I could just see myself going to these classes and being friends with all these people.”

Sierra Little-Gill will attend Trinity College in Hartford to major in Neuroscience and Spanish. “The school has a really nice, unified feel,” she said. She has been accepted into the interdisciplinary science program where she will conduct research and publish papers with professors.

Several students have chosen to enter the military.

Marty Stapleton will be joining the Marines, kicking off his four-year commitment with three months of boot camp and additional training at Camp Lejeune. “I knew college wasn’t my thing — the whole school thing. I couldn’t see doing four more years of it,” he said. After enlisting, recruits take an aptitude test to determine which track they will follow, and Marty hopes to focus on Utilities (trades such as electrician), Infantry or Ordinance. “I chose the Marines because of what it means to be a Marine: leadership, discipline, teamwork.”

Chris Smith hopes time in the military will prepare him – and help pay for – college in a few years. “I’ve gotten construction and landscape job offers from people I’ve worked with, but this felt like the better route for me,” he said. He’s considering joining the Marines, Navy or Coast Guard after he takes a few months off to work and volunteer.

For some students, high school graduation is a chance to take some time to save money and decide on the next steps.

Lauren Cerone plans to work full-time for a year before attending cosmetology school. “I’ve done 13 years of school and I feel like it’s been a lot, so I’m taking a “peace year,” a mental health break,” she said. “I’ve always loved makeup, it made me feel better when I was having a hard time and, eventually even without out makeup, it helped me feel comfortable with myself.”

Owen Gosule will spend a post-grad year Bridgton Academy in Maine. “I don’t feel like I’ve had enough information before college,” he said, “so I want to look into myself and decide what I want to do and not waste my parents’ money.”

While their plans and interests are diverse, Hanover High grads leave with one thing in common: high hopes for the future. We wish them all the best of luck!


Senior Issue: Advice for Underclassmen

As the school year comes to a close, we often reflect upon everything we have done and we think of how we could have improved. But what if we could give our younger selves advice, what would we say ? Obviously we can’t actually do this but we can give advice to the younger generations so they improve upon themselves and don’t make the same mistakes that we made. In speaking with many seniors, there are a few things that everyone says which underclassmen and future Hanover High School students should take to heart.

Take everything in and don’t focus too much on your future on the past, many seniors said. Even though you should reflect on your past and make plans for your future, if you are focusing too much on another time, then you’re not living in the present. You’re missing out on the life that you should be enjoying. The second most popular answer was to be yourself and don’t change for anyone or else you’re going to regret it when you’re graduating and nobody got to know the real you. When dealing with academics, make sure you challenge yourself but not to an extent where you are so stressed out that you have no time to grow as a human being outside of your academics.

Another common answer was to try new things and put yourself out there. For example, if you never played one game of basketball but think you would be good at it; work as hard as you can at it and try out for the team and you will make so many connections. Tying in with extra-curriculars,  don’t do anything because you think others want you to, do it because you want to. If you’re passionate about it and choose to put the work in then the results will be that much better. Good luck to the Class of 2018 in their future careers, whatever that may be and come back to visit !!!

Senior Issue: Parting Words

“Friends come and go throughout high school but don’t be afraid to make friends with people younger or older than you”  –Bridget O’Connor

“Get involved with as many activities as you can because that’s how you meet new people”  -Aaron Boise

“Try in school all four years so your GPA stays up”  -Connor Morris

“Be friends with everyone, including people in different grades; they are the best people you will meet”  -Alyssa Wilcox

“If you are trying to play a sport in college, you need to work hard to keep your grades up and get good SAT scores”  -Aidan Henderson

“Join student council to make outside friends and build leadership skills”  -Lia Ehlers

“Attending public school is special because you get to experience everything with people you’ve known since you were six years old. Take the time to cherish all your classmates, as you will miss them dearly”  -Drew Zielinski

“Although everyone says it, I never believed it until it happened, but high school really does fly by. Take in every moment because you’ll be off to college before you know it”  -JP Landry

“Don’t take anything for granted because the four years of high school really fly by. Make the most of everything and enjoy the times you have with your friends!”  -Cammie Porzio

“Take your classes seriously, but don’t stress because it will all work out in the end”  -Dan Hamza

“Branch out; join one new club every year and start your own if you can. Also, go to as many football, hockey, and basketball games while you can” -Lauren Gelly

Senior Issue: Thanks for the Memories!

Do you remember the first day of freshman year? How about your favorite class in high school? By the time you graduate high school, you will all have spent over 700 days at Hanover High School. If we multiply that number by about seven hours per day, it is easy to see that all of us will leave this school with many, many memories.

As a way to commemorate the senior class’ memorable experiences at Hanover High School, I have asked several seniors to tell me their favorite memories over the past four years. Here are the responses that I received:

Eleni Kelley: “Meeting in the parking lot on the first day of senior year”

Olivia Salvas: “The French trip to Québec with Mrs. Youngworth and all the kids who made it so enjoyable!”

Morgan Whedbee: The “field trip into Boston sophomore year to see a play”

Yasmina Berkat: “A day swallowed by fatigue, caffeine no longer effective– walking to English with Mrs. Fay!” Mrs. Fay gave her students a “20-minute nap break to excite us for the rest of the day!” For Yasmina, it was a great way to “relieve stress.”

Bridget O’Connor: “Any and all topics discussed at the “Little Women” lunch table junior year. They know who they are.”

Tori Migre: “Mr. Picardi’s period one US History class sophomore year”

Mikaela Murphy: “Working crew and as an usher for school plays throughout the years”

Will Collett: “Freshman year football”

Spencer Kubicki: “My favorite memory was playing in the marching band at Gillette Stadium with the football team. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity I got to do with my best friends in support of our great team!”

Personally, my favorite memory of high school was traveling on a field trip into Boston last fall with my French class. We ate lunch at a French restaurant called Brasserie JO, where they actually served escargot (although I was too afraid to try it!). We then went to the Boston Opera House and watched the musical The Phantom of the Opera.

Though it will be sad to say our goodbyes on June 1, it is nice to have all of these memories to take with us wherever we go.

Fair Exposes Seniors to Rollercoaster of Real Life

At the Credit for Life Fair, HHS seniors got a taste of the financial decisions — and pitfalls — they will face as adults. After choosing a profession, students were required to visit 15 booths to calculate how much they might spend on everything from rent and insurance to cable and groceries. Students also had to decide how they would pay for it all. After making their choices, students met with a credit counselor to determine whether their budget was sound or left them with a pile of debt. Students who ended with a negative balance had to rethink their choices and try again.

Organized by HHS teachers Stacey Pereira and Brian Ciccolo, the goal of the March 29th event was to expose students to what life will be like after they leave college — and the protective cocoon provided by their parents. The fair encourages students to think about financial goals, weigh needs versus wants, track spending and limit debt, all important factors which will determine whether they will be able to thrive as independent young adults. Many 18- to 34-year-olds struggle with this; in 2015, 34 percent of them still lived at home.

The fair was sponsored by Coastal Heritage Bank, PAR Advisory Group, MA Financial Education Innovation Fund, South Shore Business Checks & Printing, and Winbrook. Many volunteers from the community and school district also supported the event. The keynote speaker was Michelle Kelly, CEO and President of Xpressman Trucking & Courier, who shared her experiences of running a business.

More pictures of the fair


A Book Like No Other Explores Lincoln’s Personal Tragedy

It’s not often that I’m surprised by a book, but Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Part historical fiction, part supernatural fantasy, Bardo breaks free from the traditional format of a novel to tell the story of how Lincoln is haunted – and changed – by the death of his young son during the Civil War.

The author takes two very different tacts in alternating chapters. About half of the novel takes place in the cemetery where Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, is buried. The cemetery is populated by the spirits of dozens of colorful characters who have not yet passed on to Heaven or Hell. While these spirits tell their stories, they’re encouraging Willie to move on, but Willie lingers, confused, hoping his father will return to bring him home. This part of the novel is pure imagination, whimsical in the quirks that each character is given and the rules  followed by the society within the cemetery gates. These chapters reminded me of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, about an orphan raised by ghosts when his parents are killed.


The rest of the novel is historical fiction, but instead of researching and imagining the people and events, the author uses only excerpts from primary sources. The author quotes the letters of White House maids and politicians as well as news accounts and books of the time. These excerpts, each followed by a short citation, tell the story in the real words of the people who lived. Writing like this is harder than just doing research and summarizing; this requires poring through countless documents, picking out just the right pieces and putting them together in a way that makes sense. I was awed by the task the author undertook as well as the story that was told. For the first chapter or two, I was a little confused by who was speaking. But soon I was drawn into the story and comfortable with the unique structure.

If you like history, especially Lincoln and the Civil War, this novel will fascinate you as it shows how a personal tragedy became a turning point for Lincoln’s policies. If you like fantasy that explores what happens after death, this book offers a lot for you as well.

Featured Photo: Robert Wuensche Illustration / Houston Chronicle