Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard

Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard by Sally Cabot (William Morrow, 2013)

I was disappointed by this novel. I think it was a mistake on the author’s part to base her story on well-known historical figures, because it limited the actions that characters could take. Not only did we know how the American Revolution was going to turn out, we knew that the mother of Benjamin Franklin’s “bastard” was never going to live happily ever after with Franklin. This didn’t leave a lot of room for suspense, and the writing was not good enough to make up for the preordained plot. I also think Cabot should have told the story solely from the point of view of William Franklin.  It was as if the main character, William, wasn’t interesting or important enough to focus on exclusively. Benjamin Franklin apparently has a tendency to hog everyone’s attention, both in his time and in ours.

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