Mrs. Lincoln's Rival by Jenniver Chiaverini
Author Chiaverini returns to the Civil War era and to another woman taken from real life, in this case, Kate Chase Sprague. When her widowed father, Salmon P. Chase, is appointed to be President Lincoln’s treasury secretary, Kate moves from Ohio to the capitol and soon becomes known as the belle of Washington. She has higher ambitions, however; she hopes her father will become president one day. But although Mrs. Lincoln feels threatened by Kate’s superior beauty and charm, Kate can’t displace Mrs. Lincoln as First Lady. Chiaverini follows Kate through her witnessing of the tumultuous events of the Civil War years, to her marriage to Rhode Island governor William Sprague, to Lincoln’s assassination. Rather than serving as a backdrop against which the characters play out their personal dramas, history is front and center here, and Kate’s story often reads more like nonfiction than fiction. Still, Chiaverini, who also writes the popular Elm Creek Quilts series, has many fans, and this solid effort won’t disappoint.
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