american history / book blog / book reviews / books / historical fiction

Wednesday Weekly

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

By Jennifer Chiaverini

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Hello again to all my book buddies. I am enjoying the last few days of my vacation and relaxing with a good book!!!! I thought that I would take some time to chat about Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. I have had a  fascination with Mary Todd Lincoln since I was in middle school. I dressed up as Mary once for a school project and did a skit. I reminisced about the lives of my children while waiting for the coach to arrive to take me to the asylum. I had an elaborate costume that my mother made complete with a cape and a pair of old antique baby shoes that my grandmother loaned me. When I spied this book on the shelf at the library it had to come home with me!!!

This book was published in January of 2013 by, Jennifer Chiaverini. I did not realize till just now that I have reviewed another of her books The Spymistress. She is also the writer of many books centered around quilting, The Elm Creek Quilt series. I have not read any of these. If you liked the Spymistress, I think that you will like this one!!

In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history (Goodreads).

This is a great book centered around  a woman named Elizabeth Keckley who was born a slave. She bought her freedom and later became a seamstress for Mrs. Lincoln. Through the eyes of Elizabeth we learn about the life and times of President Lincoln and his wife. This is a painless look at the history of our country. It is more about the history of the U.S. than it is about Elizabeth.

I was surprised at the negative reviews this book received. I enjoyed it! I liked it better than the last book I reviewed. I thought that the writing style was familiar!! I did not feel that it was bogged down with history and politics. I thought that it had a good blend. This book kept my attention and I finished it quickly. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Below is her latest novel just released April of 2014. It looks interesting!!

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