Thursday, February 26, 2015

What if JFK Was Not Assassinated in Dallas? Forward to Camelot Imagines What Would Have Happened

Forward to Camelot, by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn, imagines what would have happened if JFK had escaped Dallas back on 11/22/63.  2 years ago, there were a whole slew of books on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.  Most of them were non-fiction.  But this is one of the exceptions.  What did I think, you ask?  Well, it took me a while to get into the book.  Much like Gone Girl, the 1st half was good, and the 2nd half took off.  I credit both Sloate and Finn for coming up with a story that kept me interested until it really hooked me.

This book is about more than just JFK.  I think it's worthwhile to read the synopsis from our friends at Goodreads:

On November 22, 1963, just hours after President Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President aboard Air Force One using JFK's own Bible. Immediately afterward, the Bible disappeared. It has never been recovered. Today, its value would be beyond price. In the year 2000, actress Cady Cuyler is recruited to return to 1963 for this Bible-while also discovering why her father disappeared in the same city, on the same tragic day. Finding frightening links between them will lead Cady to a far more perilous mission: to somehow prevent the President's murder, with one unlikely ally: an ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald. Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together an unlikely trio: a gallant president, the young patriot who risks his own life to save him, and the woman who knows their future, who is desperate to save them both. History CAN be altered.

So, to recap - we've got a re-writing of history, time travel, a famous bible, and a new look at Lee Harvey Oswald.  Plus we have a woman who goes back 37 years in time to learn the truth about her father.  What more do you need?  But there are also some extras that I really enjoyed:

1.  Even though I grew up in the '60s, there was all kinds of history I learned, including a bunch of stuff about JFK as the commander of PT109.
2.  It was very cool to read about Jackie's make-up and clothes for the 11/22/63 parade.
3.  The authors made me really care about Oswald.
4.  About 2/3 of the way through the book, I actually got chills.  That doesn't happen to me very often.
5.  I certainly had my share of smiling, laughing, uh-oh-ing, and, of course, crying.
6  40 pages from the end I REALLY cried.

I had this book in my TBR pile for a long time.  In fact, Susan was kind enough to send me a signed copy way back in June.  I kept telling her that I would get to it "soon."  And I kept reading other things.  Finally, I grabbed it and was determined to stick with it.  I'm very glad I did.  Nice job, guys.


  1. Thanks, Lloyd! So glad you enjoyed it, and happy you're letting your readers know!

  2. It took me a while(!), but I'm glad I finally posted the review. And especially glad I finally read it.

  3. Replies
    1. Did you read it, Kathy? I can't keep track of who has read what!

  4. Hope you'll try it, stacybuckeye. It might surprise you!