Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Spymistress

The Spymistress
Jennifer Chiaverini
April, 2014

Idgie Says:
A smartly told story of a very brave woman who decides to go against her raising and fight for what she feels is right.  She sides with the North, which puts her livelihood, her reputation and her life on the line.  This novel is filled with rich detail about the behind the scenes intrigue that occurred during the Civil War, seen from a woman's viewpoint.  Refreshingly not from a nursing tent.  Great book for Civil War buffs and intelligent women novels. 

Book Description:
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 Lew’s 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 Lew’s 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 ring’s 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 Chiaverini’s riveting tale of high-stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due.