New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is back with another enthralling historical novel set during the Civil War era, this time inspired by the life of a true Union woman as true as steel who risked everything by caring for Union prisoners of war and stealing Confederate secrets Born to slave holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lews convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life.Van Lews skills in gathering military intelligence were unparalleled She helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid Her spy rings reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy Departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.Although Van Lew was inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, the astonishing scope of her achievements has never been widely known In Chiaverinis riveting tale of high stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due....
|Title||:||The Spymistress: A Novel|
|Publisher||:||Dutton March 25, 2014|
|Number of Pages||:||384 pages|
|File Size||:||662 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Spymistress: A Novel Reviews
This is a wonderfully written story of a real woman who was instrumental in aiding the North. Jennifer Chiaverini really knows how to take history and turn it into a very engaging and interesting story. I was amazed at how much I learned and how facinating and frustrating those times were.
I have read a lot of Jennifer Chiaverini's books. And I loved them. I know she has gotten away from the Quilting Circle books...and I can't blame her for that. She is a talented writer but I must say this book was dull. It started off with an exciting premise...historically based and well researched....but then it descended into a month by month recitation of events of the Civil War in Richmond. It is an exciting story...but poorly written. I felt little or no empathy with the heroine. I hurried through parts of the book in order to see if anything noteworthy would happen...and it did. The end of the war came and our heroine and her family survived. Not Chiaverini's best writing...that's for sure. I will preview her newer books to see if they are better. Would not recommend that you buy this book unless you want the nitty gritty on being a spy for the North while living in the capital of the Confederacy.
For years I have been reading everything I could find about Elizabeth Van Lew. This detailed novel was an eye-opener about prisons other than the notorious Andersonville, and how Van Lew supported Union captives.
Chiaverinni's research into Lizzie Van Lew life was well done. Her novel was consistent in every detail with historical documents and her biography I found in my own reach. She portrayed Lizzie as the southern aristocratic woman she was. It is an excellent study of the subculture of the South and how Lizzie took advantage of the mores of the time to help bring down the tyranny of slavery and the support of the Republic of the United States. She appreciate the struggle and sacrifice of the Founding Fathers.
Well researched book about a woman from Virginia whose political views side with the North. She ends up fighting convention to work in a Union prisoner of war camp. While the author knows her history, it feels as though the dialog is just a way to present it. Stilted, and forced, it was missing excitement or realism. The main character Elizabeth felt flat. While it presented an interesting story of the civil war, the lack of humanity made it feel lifeless.
I was drawn to this book because my husband has been studying his great-great-grandfather's service in the Civil War through his personal diary of three years in the Union army. This well-researched narrative was made more vividly alive since we have visited Richmond, VA and the nearby Petersburg battlefield. Chiaverini does a good job of adhering to the historical facts while creating living characters who speak to us from the past. I was unaware that Richmond had suffered from such privations of war. A good and quick read, which reminds us again of what a great struggle it was to preserve these United States.
How can it be that a Richmond woman of wealth is willing to betray the Confederacy? It begins with her compassion for captured and injured Union soldiers, and moves step by step into a spy ring that many believe helped defeat the Confederate army. Moved by her love for the nation, she becomes involved step by step in the underground railroad. Mistrusted and spied upon herself, she continues to hold to her values. Her name, almost unknown in history, is revealed in this book, and a case made to have her remembered as a heroine.
Chiaverini writes well; historical novels are one of my favorite genres.