An Unlikely Friendship

An Unlikely Friendship : A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley

3.73 (633 ratings by Goodreads)
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On the night of President Lincoln's assassination, his frantic wife, Mary, calls for her best friend and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley. But the woman is mistakenly kept from her side by guards who were unaware of Mary Todd Lincoln's close friendship with the black seamstress. With vivid detail and emotional power, Ann Rinaldi delves into the childhoods of two fascinating women who became devoted friends amid the turbulent times of the Lincoln administration.
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 114 x 178 x 22.86mm | 181.44g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0152063986
  • 9780152063986
  • 1,865,190

Review quote

"Fascinating and filled with remarkable gems of historical memorabilia to create a very satisfying read."--VOYA"Authentic . . . Both personalities are well drawn, with real anxieties and emotions."--School Library Journal
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About Ann Rinaldi

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. She lives in central New Jersey.
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Rating details

633 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 24% (153)
4 36% (226)
3 30% (193)
2 9% (58)
1 0% (3)

Our customer reviews

Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley met in 1861 when Ms. Keckley, \"a free black woman who had purchased her own freedom,\" came to the White House to interview for the position as the First Lady\'s dressmaker. Despite her success among Washington, D.C.\'s elite, \"Lizzie\" never believed she had a real chance at securing the position. Little did she realize that she and Mrs. Lincoln were about to embark on a friendship that would last a lifetime. AN UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP is a unique breed of historical fiction in that doesn\'t follow a traditional linear model of storytelling. Author Ann Rinaldi opens by depicting the day of President Lincoln\'s assassination, giving us the story from both Lizzie and Mary\'s perspectives throughout. She then moves on to depict each woman\'s life from early childhood to young adulthood, each followed by non-fictional, mini-biographies of their lives up to the point of their initial meeting. Ms. Rinaldi closes the novel with a final section describing the womens\' lives and friendship after they left the White House. What makes this novel such a great read is the author\'s careful attention to historical detail. While it\'s impossible to be certain of Lizzie and Mary\'s exact conversations and thoughts, knowing the events described have been verified - not \"created\" or amalgamated for editorial purposes - gives AN UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP a level of authenticity sorely lacking in most books in this genre. And while I consider characterizing the relationship between a white woman of privilege and a mulatto woman born into slavery during the Antebellum period a generous overstatement, these two women undoubtedly formed a bond that was unique to their time and place in history - a feat always worthy of consideration. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
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