Monday, May 25, 2020

Review: Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters by: Jennifer Chiaverini

Title: Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: e-book ARC (352 p.)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns to her most famous heroine, Mary Todd Lincoln, in this compelling story of love, loss, and sisterhood rich with history and suspense.

In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary, former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide. 

Mary’s shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary’s tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be committed to an asylum? And—if her sisters can put past grievances aside—is their love powerful enough to save her? 

Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their family. The Todd sisters’s fates were bound to their husbands’ choices as some joined the Lincoln administration, others the Confederate Army.

Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour. 

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Mary Todd's sisters and through then a version of Mary Todd Lincoln we may not know all about.  Mary has been having a rough go of it since her husband died, but is she really crazy or just starved for the spotlight again?

Her son has had no choice but have his mother declared insane and placed in a mental health facility, but is Mary really in need of that or is she upset that the limelight is off her know that her husband is dead and she is no longer the first lady?

Her sisters come together to try to figure out what to do or how to keep the attention off the family and protect them from Mary's antics.  But can they really or will this put a black streak on the Todd family?

This book gives you a look into the Todd family going back and forth from when they were kids all the way up to the present every other chapter is the present while the other chapters were in the past.  You learn more about the family than you probably know, and how Mary Todd was determined to live her life regardless of whether or not she was insane.

It was a great period piece for those who want to learn more about the famous first lady and her family.  It was riveting to see how the family overcame so much and was able to carve there mark on history.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can't wait to see what the author comes up with next.

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