From the celebrated author, Susan Higginbotham comes the incredible story of Lincoln's First Lady A Union's First Lady
As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can't help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.
A Confederate Rebel's Wife Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband's southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best. With a country's legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 400 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Susan Higginbotham is an author I respect for the research in her historical novels. I’ve read a number of them and appreciate her attention to detail.
The First Lady and the Rebel is not just a story about sisters but of a country torn apart by war. It was informative on one hand and entertaining in the other. I learned a lot. I’ve read a number of books on Mary Todd Lincoln but not from her point of view, this was a nice change. While her character wasn’t as likable as her half-sister Emily I could still empathize with her bad decisions and heartache. I liked Emily and sensed her emotional conflict more.
The story is told with alternating POV’s, both Mary and Emily, which kept me on my toes. Beginning in 1939 and without saying when it ends this book does not shine on Abraham Lincoln, but rather on his wife and her struggles during the war, her grief and loss are profound and something I was not aware of. The Todd family in the South with its heartache as well is portrayed vividly. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for sisters to be in that situation.
I really enjoyed reading this book, thanks to Amy at HFVBT and the Publisher (via Netgalley) for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.