Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Unlikely Friendship ***1/2

Rinaldi, Ann. An Unlikely Friendship: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley. 2007.

This was an interesting and enjoyable historical fiction novel.

The first half details the troubled childhood of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Lincoln. The lives of her and her siblings became messy and unhappy after her mother's death and her father's subsequent remarriage. Their step mother was somewhat "evil" and made the house an unhappy one.

The second half was about the interesting life of Elizabeth Keckley who was born into slavery. Her mother was her white master, and her mother one of his slaves. She experienced a better upbringing because of her status. When she learned she could buy her own freedom, she decided to do that. She was an excellent seamstress and managed to make some great connections. Finally, after she had bought her own freedom, she managed to hook up with Mary Todd Lincoln and they became great friends.

The only problem I had with the book was that the friendship wasn't really fleshed out. There wasn't really any details on why these two women were friends. I felt that the stories of both women were really interesting. Frankly, I wish there was more detail for each woman and that each woman got her own book. After all, the friendship wasn't really important to the novel anyway, so there wasn't a need to bring both girls together into the same novel. Still, their lives were both fascinating and I think fans of historical fiction will enjoy reading about them.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Yeah me too feel the same...the book has focussed on friendship very less...anyways, I'll go through the book and if by any means while reading anything interesting strikes me...I'll share that with u...u can check that out in my blog by then...thanks for the a great lover of friendship books :)