*Originally published in 2014
MRS LINCOLN’S RIVAL Written by Jennifer Chiaverini
Narrated by Christina Moore
2014; 435 Pages (17 Hours and 23 Minutes) Dutton
Genre: historical fiction, american history, presidents
(I received an ARC from NetGalley).
Kate Chase Sprague is the eldest daughter of an ambitious lawyer, Salmon P. Chase who had his eye on the Presidential seat. With the death of his second wife, Kate becomes Salmon’s hostess. She was at his side to attend parties and threw parties on his behalf. Kate saw herself as the First Lady as her father rose in politics. Unfortunately for Kate and Salmon, Abraham Lincoln would become President and thus putting Kate and Mary Todd Lincoln at odds.
While Kate liked Mr. Lincoln she felt snubbed by his dull wife. Mary on the other hand thought Kate was snubbing her because Kate felt she was the rightful First Lady. The two would try to outdo the other through proper social circles.
Kate then focuses on her own life and falls for an ambitious Rhode Island politician, William Sprague. The two political minds seem perfect for one another or do they?
I enjoyed this novel but it is a bit overly descriptive in the day to day activities I appreciated most of them as I did not know too much about Lincoln’s presidency or the key players. At the time I found the main character, Kate Chase, to be arrogant but she did not turn me off reading the book. Other than Lincoln and Kate’s younger sister most of the characters seemed unlikeable – very flawed but realistic characters. I really enjoyed listening to this novel in audiobook format.