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The Resource Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel, Jennifer Chiaverini

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel, Jennifer Chiaverini

Label
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel
Title
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Jennifer Chiaverini
Title variation
Mrs. Grant & Madame Jule
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"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"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Chiaverini, well known for her Elm Creek Quilts series, has found great success recently with historical novels centered on the Civil War years, beginning with Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker (2013). Here she tells the story of Julia Grant, the wife of Union general and U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant. Despite her husband’s well-known stance as a staunch abolitionist, Julia came from a slaveholding family. From her youth, Julia was close to her maid Jule, and the two were often inseparable. But as Jule matured, she became increasingly resentful of her slave status, which left her afraid to marry for fear that she would be separated from her husband. Meanwhile, Julia, insecure about her appearance, must rise to the occasion as her husband becomes increasingly prominent. When Jule finally makes the decision to run away, Julia is devastated, but it takes her years to finally recognize the inhumanity of the practice. Chiaverini so closely follows Grant’s victories during the Civil War that readers may feel a tad battle weary by novel’s end, but her depiction of the essential decency of some of our nation’s early leaders is a high point. -- Wilkinson, Joanne (Reviewed 12-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 111, number 8, p33)
  • Against the backdrop of the Civil War and Ulysses S. Grant's rise to power, historical fiction writer Chiaverini's latest (after 2014's Mrs. Lincoln's Rival) imagines the fractured relationship between Grant's wife, Julia, and an enslaved woman named Jule, who had been a constant in Julia's life since childhood. Raised in Missouri by a slave-holding family, Julia Dent unexpectedly falls for her brother's northern friend. Though he attended West Point, Ulys is a humble soldier who just wants a quiet life as a mathematics professor. He and Julia endure a long courtship as the military often keeps him from her, a way of life that doesn't stop after they marry and the Civil War begins. Chiaverini does a good job of conveying the conflicting nature of Julia and Jule's relationship; despite their closeness, they will never be on even footing. Jule longs for a shot at happiness with groom Gabriel, a fellow slave. Important promises are broken, and Jule's resentment toward Julia grows. When the opportunity arises, Jule flees her former friend, which Julia sees as a betrayal. Careful not to cross paths with the Grants, Jule tries to make a life for herself with her hairdressing skills and keeps tabs as Ulys ascends the ranks of the Union Army. Since the story is filtered through a modern lens, some thoughts and actions occasionally seem anachronistic, but this doesn't detract from an engaging and informative book. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed February 23, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 08, p)
  • With her stand-alone Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker , the author of the "Elm Creek Quilts" series proved her ability to weave an engrossing novel that seamlessly entwines history and fiction. However, this volume, which purports to be the story of Julia Dent Grant and her childhood maid, Jule, is titled misleadingly. Although it somewhat chronicles the childhoods of both girls and follows Julia though her marriage to Ulysses S. Grant and widowhood, it is much more a novel about Grant, chronicling in great detail the general's Civil War campaigns, his presidency, private troubles, and death. To be sure, Julia accompanies him throughout, but this does not read like her story. Still Chiaverini's eye for detail coupled with an ability to breathe life into her characters ensures an engrossing period piece that does not fail to both entertain and inform. VERDICT Fans of Civil War fiction and readers who enjoyed the author's other historicals will find this title absorbing. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.]— Pam O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY --Pam O'Sullivan (Reviewed February 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 3, p85)
  • Two Julias, one born into prosperity, the other into slavery, witness the rise of the Civil War and the beginnings of Reconstruction.Chiaverini (Mrs. Lincoln's Rival, 2014, etc.) continues her series of domestic novels detailing the lives of women orbiting President Abraham Lincoln's political sphere. Spymistress Elizabeth Van Lew and dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley, from the author's earlier novels, make cameo appearances. We begin in antebellum Missouri, where Julia Dent, beautiful yet cursed with poor eyesight, grows up with another, enslaved Julia. She relies on her slave to see for her when her eyes tire, yet the dear friends have only the dimmest awareness that their master-slave relationship will cause trouble. The first sign of colliding interests is, of course, their name: Only one person can have the name "Julia" on the plantation, and that privilege goes to the master's daughter, who renames her bosom companion Jule. Their stories diverge as Julia becomes besotted with then-Lt. Ulysses S. Grant and Jule pines for Gabriel, part-time minister and enslaved stable boy. Julia's is a love story, filled with anxiety for her beloved Grant, whose military expertise and unassailable honor ensure not only his eventual presidency, but also Julia's unshakeable devotion. A woman from a slaveholding household married to a champion of the Union and of abolition, Julia struggles—for so long that it strains credulity—to square her upbringing with the increasingly obvious problems with slavery; even Jule has difficulty making Julia see the value of freedom. Able to read, a gifted hairdresser and determined to make her own mark on society, Jule is an intriguing character. Unfortunately, Julia's tale eclipses Jule's at every turn. Chiaverini's fans will love this light historical romance, but readers hoping for a fully imagined slave-to-freedwoman's journey will be disappointed.(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10399245
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Chiaverini, Jennifer
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3553.H473
LC item number
M765 2015
Literary form
fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Grant, Julia Dent
  • African American women
  • Presidents' spouses
  • Female friendship
Target audience
adult
Label
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel, Jennifer Chiaverini
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 385-386)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
386 pages
Isbn
9780525954293
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014027792
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 888025292
  • (OCoLC)888025292
Label
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel, Jennifer Chiaverini
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 385-386)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
386 pages
Isbn
9780525954293
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014027792
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 888025292
  • (OCoLC)888025292

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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