With 21 out of 22 reviewers rating it 4 or 5 stars, Lois Leveen's debut novel,
The Secrets of Mary Bowser, is a top pick among BookBrowse readers! Here's what they have to say:
I highly recommend The Secrets of Mary Bowser
. It is written with incredible detail that not only tells a story but teaches you about a period of history in the United States that still influences our lives today. Mary was an incredibly courageous woman who risked everything... A great read (Kimberli M)! This is one of the best books I've read in recent years. While it is fiction, based on a small bit of probable history, it reads like a true story told by a participant in an amazing part of American history. You have to admire Mary Bowser, who follows her heart to do the right thing, despite life-threatening danger (Mary P). Beautifully written, The Secrets of Mary...
Beyond the Book
Lois Leveen's debut novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser
, is based on the real-life story of Mary Bowser, a woman born into slavery in 1839 in Richmond, Virginia to John Van Lew, a merchant. After Van Lew passed away, his daughter, Elizabeth Van Lew, freed his slaves and paid for Mary Bowser to get an education. She also helped procure a servant job for Mary in President Jefferson Davis's Confederate White House.
According to NPR's article entitled, "The Spy Who Served Me," when the two women spent time together, they weren't simply "exchanging recipes." They were, in fact,...