Historical Fiction: One down…

The President’s Lady: A Novel about Rachel and Andrew Jackson by Irving Stone
Guys, I’m participating in a study of historical fiction. It just may do me in. (Why do I find historical fiction so difficult? WHY?)
Whining session now concluded…. I survived my first book of the bunch!
(image credit: Library of Congress)I chose something by Irving Stone because he’s one of those authors I’ve always thought I should have read. And I can see why he made a name for himself. First, he chose provocative subjects.
In this instance, the marriage of Rachel and Andrew Jackson, which was a big old scandal because not only was she a divorcee in a day when divorce just did not happen, but her scoundrel of a first husband failed to complete the divorce, so she was actually married to Andrew Jackson before her first marriage officially ended. And that ain’t good.
The whole mess of it haunted them throughout their entire marriage. It would have even haunted them in the White House, except that Rachel died of a heart attack shortly after Jackson’s election to the presidency and before his inauguration.
Despite their hardships, the Jacksons seem to have had a loving marriage, and theirs is a great love story. But it kind of sucks how the story ends, you know?
Anyway, back to Irving Stone. I found the writing to be workmanlike; it got the point across, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. I think Stone’s strength instead is in the depth of his research. He includes a list of sources at the end of the book, and it’s quite a list. I trust his version of the story to be based on facts.
And really, what more can you ask?

2 thoughts on “Historical Fiction: One down…

  1. I have an Irving Stone novel on the TBR (about one of the painters, can't remember) and I paged through it and found the style uninteresting. But Irv was a big hit back in the day.

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