November Read: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy!

booksFor those who know Shirley it will be no surprise that she brings us a tantalizing tale of historical fiction for our November Read.

See below for a review and summary of “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy” by Karen Abbott, as well as a few other books Shirley put forth to the selection committee.

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.
Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies. After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives. Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.


Other Suggested reads by Shirley:

“Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina” by Misty Copeland

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune” by Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newall Jr.


September 11 Book Club Meeting

It seems our September book club falls on a  fitting day to discuss a book addressing immigration and what it is to be an American…

Audrey will be our host and is planning a Latino-inspired enchilada feast replete with rice and Sangria. Please let us know if you can come and what you would like to bring (Audrey’s suggestions include beans, salasa, chips, guac and salad).