REVIEW: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini

Mrs. Grant and Madame JuleThis book follows the life of Julia Grant (the wife of General and later President U.S. Grant) and her slave/servant/friend Jule.  I found the story captivating as it was both the love story of Julie and Ulysses Grant and also the Civil War story of Julia’s thoughts on slavery.  I had not realized that Mrs. Grant came from a slave-owning, plantation-dwelling family.  To think that she married a staunch supporter of abolition was amazing to me.  We follow the two women through young friendship, young adulthood, and then the stickier parts of life when Jule has no choice in following Julia around from pillar to post.  Julia never seems to understand Jule’s rights to a husband and family.  Even Ulysses’ careful comments about slavery don’t sway her…her thoughts are built into her character.  Maybe even bred into her character.  The history of the time period was also presented in engaging ways as there were many battles, household moves, career transitions and family drama.  Take time to get a different picture of the Civil War and read this book.

Thanks to Dutton Adult publishers for providing me an advance copy for a review in my own words.


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