Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

  • by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Narrated by Christina Moore
  • 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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' 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Stellar

A historical fiction by one of my favorite authors, this book was one of the best books I've ever read. It was not only a tender story of General and Mrs. Grant's love and affection for each other, but a biography of their lives and a description of the times. Madame Jule was Julia Dent's maid from childhood, a slave belonging to her father, meaning Julia couldn't free her...but did she ever ask her father to free Jule? Ask to buy her so she could free her herself? Julia Dent went on to marry Ulysses S. Grant, an abolitionist, who went on to be one of the people without whom we might lost the Civil War, as well as a 2-term President of the United States. You can see why neither sets of their parents approved their union. Nevertheless, their love flourished and endured. Julia wasn't perfect, but she loved the man she called "Uliss".

No spoilers here, so I will not dwell upon Jule except to say she very much wanted her freedom and so did her husband, from whom she got separated because of the damnable institution of slavery.

I love Civil War era novels. They fill in my memory lapses of what I've learned about that terrible period of our nation's history. I highly recommend this book. 5 stars out of 5!
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- Connie

Skips emotion for history.

I generally enjoyed the book but I felt like the author skimmed too fast. I don't feel like I got deeply invested in the story at any one place because it jumps forward in time before the reader can invest. It was fiction but many areas of the narrative sounded like spitting back historical facts. While that's necessary with novels like this, it seemed like the history and fiction didn't blend as well as I would have liked.
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- Jessica Jewett

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-03-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books