Praise for ABE & ANN


“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 & ANN is quintessential historical fiction because it beautifully and eloquently upends our revered assumptions about a beloved historical figure. Too often, reputation preserves the famous in a fossilized amber that makes us forget the simple truth that people have to grow into those beloved reputations. But here, in ABE & ANN, in glorious, lilting prose, is Lincoln before he became the famous president we revere and thought we knew, in all his uncertain, love-struck, ambitious, underprivileged youth, wrapped in desire and struggling to find his way in the world.” 

—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.


“This lyrical novel of the young Lincoln in love not only kept me turning the pages until the wee hours of the night, it also grabbed me as all the best stories do, less a tapestry of a particular time than a universal story of what it means to love and to lose. Gary Moore has written a moving tribute to how the most intimate of experiences can forever change us, and sometimes change the world.”

—Thomas Christopher Greene, author of The Headmaster’s Wife.


“I have been deeply moved by this book in a way that I rarely am. It is indeed the tale of the tragic love between Abraham Lincoln and Ann Rutledge and though many will have heard of their intense relations, none of us have read it rendered so tenderly as if we were in their midst. The telling by Gary Moore, the poet, is what any one would call exquisite. He will stop you in your tracks with the dialogue. And for Lincoln aficionados, avowed and otherwise, the story will deepen the sense of who the man is in a way that the House Divided Speech or Gettysburg Address simply cannot. In these speeches, we see Mr. Lincoln in the grip of war. In ABE & ANN, we see the young Mr. Lincoln in the grip of love. This book is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.” 

—Jim Freedman, author of A Conviction in Question: The First Trial at the International Criminal Court. 


“Gary Moore's novel ABE & ANN tells the story of star-crossed lovers and what might have been. Moore gives voice to a woman largely ignored by history, the first love of a man before he became a legend. Written in gorgeous prose, evocative of the time, this novel had me wishing for a revision of history, rooting for a couple that could not be.” 

—Ann Davila Cardinal, author of Five Midnights


“Here is Lincoln as you’ve never seen him.  In the circumscribed world of an Illinois frontier village, the future statesman meets and woos the arresting Ann, a worthy match as she tests the constraints and obligations of her time and place.  The young lovers are brought memorably to life in Gary Moore’s poignant
ABE & ANN as only a gifted poet, dramatist, performer, and scholar could portray: richly imagined, beautifully expressed, and authentically informed.  In Moore’s hands, Ann and Abe are flesh and blood, their joy and anguish genuine and affecting.  The reader wonders just how much of Lincoln’s iconic character was shaped through his smitten devotion to the complex, dazzling Ann and her shattering loss.” 

—Denise Brown, author of The Unspeakable