Book Description: A general’s wife and a slave girl forge a friendship that transcends race, culture, and the crucible of Civil War.
Mary Anna Custis Lee is a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, wife of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and heiress to Virginia’s storied Arlington house and General Washington’s personal belongings.
Born in bondage at Arlington, Selina Norris Gray learns to read and write in the schoolroom Mary and her mother keep for the slave children and eventually becomes Mary’s housekeeper and confidante. As Mary’s health declines, Selina becomes her personal maid, strengthening a bond that lasts until death parts them.
Forced to flee Arlington at the start of the Civil War, Mary entrusts the keys to her beloved home to no one but Selina. When Union troops begin looting the house, it is Selina who confronts their commander and saves many of its historic treasures.
In a story spanning crude slave quarters, sunny schoolrooms, stately wedding parlors, and cramped birthing rooms, novelist Dorothy Love amplifies the astonishing true-life account of an extraordinary alliance and casts fresh light on the tumultuous years leading up to and through the wrenching battle for a nation’s soul.
A classic American tale, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the first novel to chronicle this beautiful fifty-year friendship forged at the crossroads of America’s journey from enslavement to emancipation.
My Thoughts: The title of this book just didn't "grab" me but I've read other novels by Dorothy Love and I know that her books are quite interesting...so delved right into this new novel.
And I'm glad I did. A very intriguing story based on true.to.life facts.
Selina Gray, a slave, and Mary Custis Lee, her owner and the wife of General Robert E. Lee from a unique friendship the Mary takes Selina under her tutelage to teach the young girl to read.
As they both grow and mature Selina yearns for freedom from slavery and Mary after her marriage to Robert E. Lee longs for her husband to be home more. Mary basically rears their seven children on her own.
While this novel is not full of suspense or action it does read well as a slower read that portrays a fifty year friendship between two women of different heritages. Thoughts, ideas and courage of women of integrity.
There is quite a bit of history between the pages of this read...a great for that historian or avid history buff.
*This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild/BookLook*