History is often written by the dominant voices of the time. But sometimes, we need to pull back the curtain to hear other voices who are not as dominant.
Best selling author Jennifer Chiaverini latest book, Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule was released a few weeks ago. The book pulls back the curtain on the dominant white men of the era to tell the stories of two women, one black and and one white.
Julia Grant (nee Dent) was the wife of the Civil War General and 18th President Of The United States Ulysses S Grant. Jule (originally named Julia, but shortened to Jule) was purchased for Mrs. Grant when she was a young girl to be her ladies maid. They grew up as sisters, but the reality of their world was a bitter pill to swallow, especially for Jule. While Julia reveled in her role as mother and wife to the man who would be both a General and a President, Jule felt trapped by the constraints the slavery held on her.
Written in vivid detail and colorful storytelling, the author bring back to life the world that existed before, during and after the Civil War. I was instantly hooked into the journey of the characters. History can often feel staid and boring, as if we are disconnected from the events of the past. This book connects the reader to a time and place that does not exist anymore and reconnects them to people whose mortal coils have long since shuffled off this world.
I highly recommend it.