Tuesday, March 14, 2017

730 (2017 #28). The General's Women

by Susan Wittig Albert

The latest historical fiction novel by Susan Wittig AlbertThe General's Women focuses on the triangle of World War II General Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower while overseas, his wife Mamie back home in the States, and Ike's British volunteer driver and aide, Kay Summersby.

The story is told from all three characters' viewpoints.  Mamie comes off the worst of the three, sounding like a rather vapid, jealous belle.  But then, she was a low-key Army wife and First Lady.

Albert's portrayal of Ike and Kay and their romance is far more interesting, and it's obvious she has done a lot of research.  In a "biographical epilogue," she switches to third-person nonfiction, documenting Kay's postwar life, complete with endnotes.  There's also an author's note, highlighting the differences between the novel, the "official" record, and Summersby's two memoirs.  This note also has endnotes, and there is a further reading section.  How the romance was hidden, after the fact, is almost more interesting than reading about the romance itself.

© Amanda Pape - 2017

[I purchased this book from the author.]

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