An Acquaintance with Darkness

An Acquaintance with Darkness

by Ann Rinaldi

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview


Fourteen-year-old Emily Pigbush suspects that her uncle is involved in body snatching. Meanwhile, her best friend's family is accused of plotting to kill Abraham Lincoln, and Emily is left unsure of whom she can trust.
 
Includes a reader's guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152053871
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Series: Great Episodes Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 213,962
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central New Jersey. 

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An Acquaintance with Darkness 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
hockey22 More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was amazing and I read it in one day! It's about a girl who's parents are dead so she lives with her uncle. He is a doctor and gets dead bodies to examine. By the end of the book her opinion changes about him and she realizes what he does isn't as bad as it sounds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An Acquaintance with Darkness is the best historical fiction book I have read. I really liked the idea of using the assassination of Abraham Lincoln as the plot. As always, Ann Rinaldi has a great hook that makes you want to read on. The book is pretty fast paced and therefore a quick read. There is some romance in the novel but not so much that it overtakes the main plot. I really liked how Ann Rinaldi wove Johnny and Robert together and made comparisons there. I liked how she didn't let Emily's assumptions of Uncle Valentine be revealed as true or not too soon. She kept us on our toes with the deeds that Uncle Valentine did for Emily and Annie and also with Emily's furthering relationship with Robert and the reader's trust in his words used to mislead Emily. Ann Rinaldi's use of vivid details really make the reader feel like they have stepped into a time machine and gone back to the late 1800's and lived in the chaos that became of Washington in the months following the assassination of the president.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Many thanks to countrylife for recently recommending this very interesting book.I've read a number of Ann Rinaldi's books, some are good, others fall flat. This one is worth the time and effort spent reading.Using the backdrop of Washington, DC at the turbulent time of the end of the Civil war, Rinaldi takes us through the streets of a city in turmoil as the country is reeling with the aftermath of a nation torn apart.Slaves who were freed now have no where to go. Expecting President "Linkum" to find homes for them, they sadly seek shelter and food to no avail.Widows with no source of income are pressed to take in boarders. Soldiers returning home to the North after the war suffer from disease, loss of limbs and the stress of combat fatigue.We learn of life in Washington, DC 1865 from the point of view of fourteen year old Emily Pigbush who lost her father in the war and her mother to "the wasting disease".Upon her death bed her mother forbid Emily to live with her Uncle Valentine, a prominent physician and teacher. Instead, Emily was slated to live at the home of her friend Annie Surrat, daughter of Mary Surrat.Weaving a cast of characters including John Wilkes Booth, Dr. Mudd, General Custer and the Surrats, Rinaldi provides accurate historical detail regarding the assignation of President Lincoln and the effects of a city and nation in tremendous grief.John Wilkes Booth was known to visit the home of Mary Surrat and thus she was implicated with seven others.History shows that on the afternoon of Lincoln's assignation, Booth went to Mary Surratt's boarding house in Washington, D.C. It was discovered that guns and ammunition were stored there.Of the eight alleged conspirators, she was the only woman. She was found guilty and hanged. She has the historical notoriety of being the first woman executed by the United States government.While the title and cover of the book leads the reader to believe this is a ghost story, in fact, the sub plot of the book is an excellent depiction of Ann's Uncle, who for the sake of learning new medical techniques in order to help wounded and those afflicted with disease, works with a few others to rob graves or attain bodies. These are the times before legal autopsies and the moral/ethical procurement of bodies is balanced by the need for knowledge.Recommended.
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ann Rinaldi doing what she does so well ¿ historical fiction for young adults. It is the spring of 1865 in Washington D.C., where 14 year old Emily Pigbush has just lost her mother. Now an orphan, her father having died in the civil war, she plans to live with her friend, Annie, and help out with the Surratt family's boardinghouse. When President Lincoln is assassinated and her friend's family comes under suspicion, her only other alternative is to live with her Uncle Valentine, against her mother's expressed wishes. For she had known something shady was going on there. The American Civil War had made the physicians involved in it even more aware of the deficiencies of their medical education, specifically anatomy and dissection. Even as more people were training to be doctors, there were fewer bodies available for dissection. In the author's note, she details that in Vermont, between 1820 and 1840, there were more than 1600 medical students, needing 400 cadavers. ¿Only two bodies a year were made available legally. ¿ State legislators had not yet made up laws to deal with supplying bodies for teaching. ¿ Grave robbing became a lucrative activity.¿Emily and her uncle are fictional characters in this story, which also includes appearances by Elizabeth Keckley, John Wilkes Booth, Annie and Johnny Surratt, Dr. Samuel Mudd, General George Armstrong Custer and other people of historical significance. Ms. Rinaldi did a fine job of making her characters believable. The setting was adequately pictured. The story was engaging for a young adult history lesson. She covered the assassination, the city in mourning, and the trials well enough for a YA novel. I thought she gravitated too much to the eery side of the procurement of cadavers, and not enough to the medical advantages once procured. As that seemed to be the point of the book, I thought the story short-changed itself there.Otherwise, a very good book. (3.2 stars)
chicaslarson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!!! It is the kind of book that will capture you from the very beginning! It is set in the time that President Abraham Lincoln was shot. I would recommend this book to ALL my freinds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I love historical fiction and this book had it all. It follows the Lincoln conspiracy and takes place in the 1860s which is one of my favorite time periods. I learned so much from this book. Ann Rinaldi is a great author who writes a lot of historical fiction. If you love historical fiction then you should definitely read this and all her other books!
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Alissa Burgo More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot if books by this author. She is a wonderful storyteller, and that is hard to do with historical fiction. I could tell that she did a lot of research in order to complete it. Definately reccomend everyone who loves historical fiction to read as many Ann Rinaldi books as possible... my personal favorite of her books is "The Last Silk Dress"... amazing author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
impaledscarecrow More than 1 year ago
This was my 1st book of Rinaldi's that I read. needless to say, I have many more of hers on my wishlist now! Highly recommend this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is amazing. i didn't really think id be that interested in it when my teacher said we'd have to read it. although she has great taste in books, i didn't think this was going to be that good. it turned out i really loved it and I'm going to buy it. the author does a really great job with the story and with details; i was on the edge of my seat the entire time while reading this. the book is great, is mysterious and is extremely interesting!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. It had a great story, good allusions, and a very good author. I would reccommend it to everyone because it allows one to learn about history but in a good way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading and learning about the chaos in Washington after Lincoln's death. I learned so many things about this era that I did not know. The characters are so well developed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Right when I picked up this book, I had trouble putting it down. When I found out Emily, the main character, had an ill mother, I knew i had to read more to find out exactly what was going to happen. Even after she (Emily's mother) died, I knew even more interesting things were to come, since it takes place after Lincoln was assinated. While reading this, I learned many new things that the school never seem to teach you. For example, people who were accused of the assasination of Licoln, those who were innocent, and how the people accused were punished before their final sentences. I also learned and felt how everyone felt the time after the assination and a lot of people's beliefs of many political issues then. From beginning to end, the book is full of love, some humor, suspense, and trust. I read this book from cover to cover with tingles going down my spine and trying to figure everything out. I would recommend this to everyone who loves history and wants to learn more about the time after Lincoln died.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have found many books that I have enjoyed reading alone this year and have finished them non-stop, This book was among the many that I read cover to cover in a short period of time. I had some of my best friends telling me to put the book down and that I was reading it to much. There was not a single fault in this book. I adored every bit of it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is pretty good, excusing the first few chapters. I found them boaring and pointless. The rest of the book was fine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An Acquaintance with Darkness was an excellent book. I would give this book a 4.7 stars, only because it's lacking in romance, but if you don't care about that, you will LOVE this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most engaging books I have read in a long time. It is just breath taking what Emily Pigbush and her friend had to go through. Yes, it had a little romance in it but nothing huge. When you're reading this think of how it must feel to watch a family member die right in front of your own eyes. I suggest that you read this book if you like historical fiction or any other book written by Ann Rinaldi. Believe me this is definetely one of Rinaldi's best books.I gurentee you will enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I loved the characters. This book contains historical characters as well as fictional ones and so that makes it twice as good as other books. The author really takes you into Emily's world by telling you her thoughts and feelings towards people. The book also contains how she matures throughout the book. I think many young girls would love this story about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This book is awesome!