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.
Praise for Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
'The battles are described in detail, but they do not overwhelm, nor do they overshadow the main topic. Chiaverini is a talented author who clearly did her research.' RT Book Reviews
' Chiaverini's depiction of the essential decency of some of our nation's early leaders is a high point.' Booklist
'The intense research Chiaverini did to document the relationship between Julia and Ulysses Grant is admirable, and made their love story factual and heartwarming. It certainly gave this reader a different perspective of the famous general . . . All in all this work of historical fiction was a delightful read.' Missourian
'But never before has Chiaverini told a story of such touching beauty and original perspective as she does now in her latest tome, Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule.' Bookreporter
'Chiaverini's fans will love this light historical romance.' Kirkus
'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.' Library Journal
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 03 / 2016