I received a free copy of The Spymistress from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Plume (March 25, 2014)
About the Author:
I must admit that I knew absolutely nothing about Elizabeth van Lew going into this book. She was a very real person living in Richmond and was horrified by the vote to secede from the Union. She was a woman with strong political feelings and she associated with many men active in the government of Richmond. The Spymistress tells a fictionalized story of her courageous acts during the Civil War.
I must admit upfront that I have read a lot of Civil War books – I find myself fascinated by this period in our history. That being written, I still had not heard of Miss van Lew! Most of my reading was about the different battles and the generals. So little has been written about the contributions of women during that time period. I really enjoyed this book – it takes the reader from just before Virginia’s decision to leave the Union to about 10 years after the end of the Civil War. The bulk of the book takes place during the period of the actual war. It follows Miss van Lew’s efforts to help Union soldiers being held prisoner in Libby Prison in Richmond while still maintaining her relationship with her Confederate neighbors. She had to walk a fine line.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book showing the impact of the Civil War through the eyes of one woman determined to do what she could to stay firm in her beliefs. I’m not going to go into how Miss van Lew did her spying – that will spoil the book – but let me say she was very clever and very willing to do anything she could to help the Union.
Ms. Chiaverini held my interest throughout. I have read some reviews where people felt it was a bit dry and I can see where if you are not as interested in the Civil War and the movements of the troops it might not be as interesting to you but for someone like me it was a fascinating look into the life of a woman who showed extraordinary strength and courage in a very difficult time in our country’s history.
You can follow The Spymistress Tour Schedule for additional giveaway opportunities and more reviews.
One lucky US reader will win a copy of The Spymistress. How do you win? It’s easy – just hop on the Rafflecopter. Good luck everyone!