Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TLC Book Tour & Review: The Secrets Of Mary Bowser

Author: Lois Leveen
Title: The Secrets Of Mary Bowser
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: May 15, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: Based on a remarkable true story, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an inspiring tale of one daring woman's willingness to sacrifice her own freedom to change the course of history

All her life, Mary has been a slave to the wealthy Van Lew family of Richmond, Virginia. But when Bet, the willful Van Lew daughter, decides to send Mary to Philadelphia to be educated, she must leave her family to seize her freedom.

Life in the North brings new friendships, a courtship, and a far different education than Mary ever expected, one that leads her into the heart of the abolition movement. With the nation edging toward war, she defies Virginia law by returning to Richmond to care for her ailing father—and to fight for emancipation. Posing as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis, Mary deceives even those who are closest to her to aid the Union command.

Just when it seems that all her courageous gambles to end slavery will pay off, Mary discovers that everything comes at a cost—even freedom.

Review: There are some books that you can't help but be drawn into. The Secrets of Mary Bowser is one of those books. Once you pick it up, you will be drawn into Mary's life, and you won't be able to put it down. When you read this book you are taken back in time to the pre-Civil war era.

Not a pretty time for our country.

The story is based on real people and events. I actually started looking things up when I was reading this book. I wanted to know more. See Mary Bowser was more than just a freed slave. She became educated and during the war she was a spy in the Confederate White House!

You grow up with Mary, you watch as her passions for abolition ignite.

You also see things that aren't in many novels about the era, what life was liked for people of color in the North. It wasn't necessarily pretty there either. That's illustrated quite a bit, when young Mary comes to Philadelphia for her education, thanks to Bet.

What I loved about this book, besides how wonderfully written and visual it is, are the extras at the end, especially the part about the world of Mary Bowser. It was really nice to see the evidence of the research that went into this book.

I can't recommend this book more, especially if you have a love of history.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Lois Leveen

Award-winning author Lois Leveen’s work has appeared in the New York Times, on NPR, and in literary journals and anthologies. A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, May 15th: Bookworm’s Dinner
Wednesday, May 16th: Man of La Book
Thursday, May 17th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Monday, May 21st: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, May 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, May 24th: Life In Review
Friday, May 25th: “That’s Swell!”
Monday, May 28th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, May 29th: Just Joanna
Wednesday, May 30th: Book Journey


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Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I love author's notes that explain the real history in a book like this - they make my reading experience so much more fulfilling!

Thanks for being on the tour.

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