A Novel: Coming May 2019 —

Before Abraham Lincoln was a bearded wise man saving democracy he was young, timid, and hopelessly in love…


ABE & ANN is a novel based on the true story of Abraham Lincoln’s little-known  romance in his twenties. Auburn-haired Ann Rutledge, feisty and fed-up with propriety, is frontier royalty, the 18-year-old daughter of the founder of the rough little frontier village where the 22-year-old Abe Lincoln comes looking for work. She is lively and literate and funny, and Abe is straight off his daddy’s farm with jug ears and one change of clothes.


Homely and poor, but full of high ambition, the young Lincoln courts the dazzling red-haired woman who comes into his life like a revelation. In the spell of their feelings, the lovers question the limits in their lives and boldly dream a better future. But she is engaged to another man. 

Readers who enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestselling Lincoln book Team of Rivals, Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film Lincoln, and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo will marvel again at this very different and compelling tale of Lincoln as a young man.  Here is a Lincoln frightened before he was bold, and deeply in love with a woman who despite their passion would never be his… or would she? 

Ampersand Cover.jpg

"I love this book about the young, poverty-stricken, backwoods Abraham Lincoln courting his first love Ann Rutledge with nothing but grammar, the poetry of Byron, and hope. To me, Abe and Ann is quintessential historical fiction because it beautifully and eloquently upends our revered assumptions about a beloved historical figure."

—Robin Oliveira, New York Times bestselling author of My Name is Mary Sutter, and winner of the Michael Shaara Prize in Civil War Fiction in 2010.


Gary Moore on ABE & ANN:

— The Novel Became a Song

As I wrote I kept thinking that this is not an epic novel about the great Abraham Lincoln, it’s a tragic tale of two young village people over their heads in love like in those destiny-driven ballads Ann sings in the novel.  It’s not an epic but a ballad.  And I thought: There should be a ballad.  

So I wrote one.  The Ballad of Abe and Ann is a new song in an ancient tradition that Abe and Ann knew.  Andrea Asprelli and Jason Borisoff put music to my lyrics, which you can hear performed by the up-and-coming bluegrass group, Cricket Tell the Weather.  Have a listen.