Book Recommendation | "The General's Women by Susan Wittig Albert" by Jeanette Larson

The General's Women: A Novel by [Albert, Susan Wittig]
Susan Wittig Albert is best known for her mysteries series featuring China Bayles, a lawyer-turned-herbalist and detective.  However in 2014 Albert published her first biographical novel, a book based solidly in biographical facts but novelized. That book, A Wilder Rose, looked at the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, Rose and the writing of the Little House on the Prairie books. That book was followed by Loving Eleanor, about the friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. In The General's Women, Albert explores the life of Kay Summersby and her relationship with General Dwight D. Eisenhower. And it is a fascinating story!

When Eisenhower arrived in England during World War II, he was assigned a driver. The young woman was a former fashion model, Kay Summersby. In spite of his marriage and her engagement they developed a friendship and became confidantes. While Mamie is back home in the United States, she knows her marriage is faltering but is helpless to do much about it. At the war's end, facing the possibility of a political career that could include a run for the presidency, Ike has to face some difficult decisions.

What makes the book a lot of fun is Albert's superb ability to tell a compelling story, filled with passion and intrigue, that is based on meticulous research. She humanizes the characters without straying into supposition or unsupported gossip. In addition to being a great novel, readers will learn a lot about history and the lives of the Eisenhowers and Summersby. At the end of the book, Albert provides suggestions for further reading and discussion questions for book clubs.

Note: The review copy was provided by the author and has been donated to the Aransas County Public Library. Check it out!

Kay Summersby

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