Sunday, March 10, 2024

Becoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray

She took on titans, battled generals, and changed the world as we know it…

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray returns with a captivating and dramatic new novel about an American heroine Frances Perkins.

Raised on tales of her revolutionary ancestors, Frances Perkins arrives in New York City at the turn of the century, armed with her trusty parasol and an unyielding determination to make a difference.

When she’s not working with children in the crowded tenements in Hell’s Kitchen, Frances throws herself into the social scene in Greenwich Village, befriending an eclectic group of politicians, artists, and activists, including the millionaire socialite Mary Harriman Rumsey, the flirtatious budding author Sinclair Lewis, and the brilliant but troubled reformer Paul Wilson, with whom she falls deeply in love.

But when Frances meets a young lawyer named Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a tea dance, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. She thinks he’s a rich, arrogant dilettante who gets by on a handsome face and a famous name. He thinks she’s a priggish bluestocking and insufferable do-gooder. Neither knows it yet, but over the next twenty years, they will form a historic partnership that will carry them both to the White House.

Frances is destined to rise in a political world dominated by men, facing down the Great Depression as FDR’s most trusted lieutenant—even as she struggles to balance the demands of a public career with marriage and motherhood. And when vicious political attacks mount and personal tragedies threaten to derail her ambitions, she must decide what she’s willing to do—and what she’s willing to sacrifice—to save a nation.

Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Expected publication March 12, 2024 
by Berkley
4.5/5 stars

Stephanie Dray is one author that I have managed to stay current with, from her earlier books about Cleopatra‘s daughter to strong women in US history, she has kept me entertained and educated. Francis Perkins is not someone I am familiar with so I went in somewhat blind and was pleasantly intrigued and captivated with this remarkable woman.

Spanning most of Perkins life she is portrayed as a force to be reckoned with.  Her drive, compassion and determination for change is well written in this epic sized book. Dray's passion and researched is evident in a story about a woman in politics is something unheard of in that time period.

Becoming Madame Secretary is a story of relationships, that between Perkins and FDR, her husband and daughter, her friend Mary and her country. The author notes were detailed, welcomed and finished this book off nicely.

My thanks to Berkley for a digital arc in exchange for a honest review

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