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Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer…
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Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

by Jennifer Chiaverini

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Covers the life of Julia (Dent) Grant, wife of Civil War General (and later President) Ulysses Grant. She was raised in Missouri, and her family owned slaves. In particular, she was very close at one time to "her" slave, also named Julia, but called Jule. In this fictional account, Julia never perceived as slavery as wrong, or as an integral part of the Civil War. She supported her husband, but felt the secession of the South the only reason for the war. She brings Jule to live with her family in many of the places they go, including often very close to the battles. Eventually, after the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule simply leaves, and starts her own life styling women's hair, and creating and marketing lotions and creams for women. Jule and Julia never reconcile, although many years later Julia seems to come to realize the wrongs of slavery.
The book is much more than the story of Jule and Julia, especially that of "Ulys" and Julia, and of course the war and the battles. But I enjoyed the exploration of Julia's attitude toward slavery, and especially how it eventually evolved. ( )
  cherybear | Sep 16, 2018 |
A special thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book rather dull, and the writing seemed a little basic. It read more as two separate books, one of which was regurgitating facts from the civil war battles, a topic which is not of any interest to me. I was hoping for more from the story of the women in the title, that was the part of the story that I enjoyed and wanted more of. Perhaps the author was trying to do too much in the span of the novel. ( )
  GirlWellRead | Feb 25, 2017 |
First of all this title is totally misleading, as it's really a chronological history of Julie Grant and her husband the general. There are moments when her life and that of her slave Jule collide, but they are far and few between. The book started out with such promise, but soon grew boring when it didn't delve deep enough into the title characters, and became more like a dry non-fiction history of the civil war. I know a lot of people that will pick this up thinking it's going to be a great fictionalized novel of a historical figure, but I think most will be disappointed once they start reading.
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
A touching story of the General’s wife and First Lady, and her profound and complex relationship with her slave and confidante.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Sep 19, 2016 |
Enjoyable ( )
  mystic506 | Sep 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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To Marty, my husband of twenty years, dearest friend, and partner in all these things, with love and gratitude
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The slaves froze when they heard the old master shouting from the big house, conversations cut off in independence, hands grasps spoons hovering between bowls and hungry mouths.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525954295, Hardcover)

The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln's Rival imagines the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general’s wife and the First Lady, yet who grappled with a profound and complex relationship with the slave who was her namesake—until she forged a proud identity of her own.

In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony.

Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress’s closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s eyes to the world.

And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks—becoming general in chief of the Union Army—so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband’s side.

Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women—Union and Confederate—she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women’s paths continued to cross throughout the Grants’ White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb.

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:03 -0400)

"The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln's Rival imagines the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general's wife and the First Lady, yet who grappled with a profound and complex relationship with the slave who was her namesake-until she forged a proud identity of her own. In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom's abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress's closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia's eyes to the world. And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks-becoming general in chief of the Union Army-so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband's side. Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women-Union and Confederate-she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women's paths continued to cross throughout the Grants' White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant's Tomb. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow"--… (more)

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