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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.

©2015 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2015   Recorded Books

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  • Connie
  • DURHAM, NC, United States
  • 06-10-15

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-21-15

Excellent

This book was published March 3, 2015. The book follows the lives of two girls: Julia Dent and her slave Jule. As children they were best of friends and were always together. As they grew older the line between master and slave grew.

Julia married Ulysses Grant and despite his loyalty to the Union their marriage succeeded. Ulysses quickly rose in the ranks and Julia traveled with him from post to post. While the Civil war raged, Jule was battling her loyalty to Julia and her desire to be free. Julia Grant found it difficult to write, read and sew because she was cross-eyed. Chiaverini demonstrated repeatedly in the story how much difficulty Julia had with her vision problems and myopia.

The author paints a dramatic picture of the Civil War, from the assassination of Lincoln to Grant’s presidency as we follow the lives of Julia and Jule. Jule is able to read and is a gifted hairdresser. She is determined to make her own mark on society. I just finished read the book “First Lady of the Confederacy” by Joan E. Cashin about Varnia Howell Davis. Both books tell about the post Civil War friendship between Julia Grant and Varnia Davis and their work to bring the country together after the War. Julia Grant with the help of her son General Frederick Dent Grant arranged the military funeral in New York for Varnia Davis.

This book provides an inside look at the wife of Ulysses Grant and reveals her life as First Lady. Julia Grant apparently enjoyed being first lady. This is a well written and fascinating book about the life of Julia Dent Grant. Christina Moore narrated the book.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed with how the story line was presented

Would you be willing to try another book from Jennifer Chiaverini? Why or why not?

Probably not now. I used to love reading all of the books in the quilting series. They each were written very well and were easy to follow along with the story. I feel the new style of writing makes the story hard to follow. I'm reading for enjoyment. It shouldn't be an effort to read a book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Jennifer ... please go back to your old style of writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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slight disappointment

I liked it, but toward the end, it started falling apart. I was very disappointed in the ending. There was no resolution between Julia and Jule

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story, disappointing ending.

What made the experience of listening to Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed both of the main characters. Chiaverini doesn't sugar coat either woman.

What other book might you compare Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule to and why?

I would compare this book to Mrs. Lincoln's rival. A very good character story, that occasionally gets bogged down with too many Civil War details.

Which character – as performed by Christina Moore – was your favorite?

I liked both Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule equally, though both were annoying at times. They weren't predictable, which is refreshing.

If you could take any character from Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I think Madame Jule would be fascinating to visit with. Her life seems very genuine, difficult but rewarding. I'm not sure I could relate to Mrs. Grant.

Any additional comments?

If you like historical fiction, give it a try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

I have listed to this book twice have been riveted to it! The author is great and the narrator one of my favorites. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to study the civil war like I do!

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Wonderful book!

I have yet to be disappointed with one of Jennifer Chiaverini's books and I have read almost all of them. Just a few more and I will have finished them all. I also can't say enough about Christina Moore's narration of these books as well as others. She does an excellent job.

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Mrs. Grant and Madame Jude

This was an excellent book in every way. I highly recommend it to everyone .

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I never knew that!

I decided on this book because I have a huge appreciation for Robert E Lee and thought I should give Grant equal time. Great story. I loved the perspective and the human, personal, and family view of his life as well as the famous and historical information. It was very well written and easily kept my attention. I was, of course, disappointed that Julia and Jules were never reunited.

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