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I haven't read the preceding books in this series but this one is just awful! The author has chosen a subject - racism in America - which she lacks knowledge and sensitivity. Her depiction of blacks during the World War II era is appalling. In a purely literary sense,I really tried to get past it because the story plot began in such an interesting way. But the author made me feel really uncomfortable. It takes a lot to upset me when it comes to literary license. I fought to have Audible allow reviewers to use the word "nigger" instead of the really outrageous "n-word" if the term is in the book reviewed and does not insult or degrade. I embrace realism in literature. One cannot read a fictional account about slavery and believe that we were referred to as "African Americans". There are instances in which being "politically correct" makes no sense. However, this author stepped over the line in this book, showing a marked level of insensitivity to blacks, Jews, and other minorities and nationalities. I can't speak for the others in any degree of depth, but I can tell you how this book affected ME as a black American.
Much of the book takes place in Washington DC, where I was born and raised. Her depiction of black Washingtonians was way off. She had the black employees in the White House acting like slaves. I was stunned by the way Winston Churchill talked to the main White House steward. This was 1941 but the white people act like it was 1861!!!
Just in general, the author tried to pack in every famous living person of that time, from the Kennedys to Josephine Baker to Ernest Hemingway. The storyline got bogged down in name-dropping after a while. And while I normally enjoy this narrator, she is not suited to acting out such distinctive voices as FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt and Churchill. It was a really painful listen.
I am descended from free people of color who have lived and worked in Washington since BEFORE the Civil War. Susan MacNeal's story enraged and insulted me and my ancestors, some of whom helped to build the White House and Capitol Building. This book would have been better if the author hadn't tried to include every ounce of our struggle and our history into a storyline that we didn't even need to be included. It is a walk that she has never taken. She took our history too lightly, making us look like minstrel caricatures. MacNeal should be ashamed to release such a racist and insulting book in 2015.
41 of 55 people found this review helpful
I read the first few books in this series and enjoyed them but somehow forgot about the series, glad I came across it again. Soon after Peal harbor, Winston Churchill and special Agent and code breaker Maggie Hope, posing as his typist arrive at the White House. One of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered. Eleanor and Maggie investigate and uncover a conspiracy that could jeopardize the War effort.
The book is well written and meticulously researched. What I like about MacNeal is the historical detail she puts into her story. There are multiple plotlines and points of view which allows the reader to easily follow the action. How could I not like this book, it contains my two favorite people Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt. This book sort of reminded me of the Elliott Roosevelt series of murder mysteries featuring Eleanor Roosevelt.
Susan Duerden did an excellent job narrating the story. I was impressed with her narrating ability when I listened to “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” book. She brought that book to life as she did with this current book..
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Have read/listened to all five books now. Can't wait for the next one! Very good!