The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

84%

10 Critic Reviews

Deftly balancing history, romance and adventure, Leveen honors the life and historical importance of a brave, resourceful woman.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“Masterfully written, The Secrets of Mary Bowser shines a new light onto our country’s darkest history.”
—Brunonia Barry, bestselling author of The Lace Reader

“Packed with drama, intrigue, love, loss, and most of all, the resilience of a remarkable heroine….What a treat!”
—Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

Based on the remarkable true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is a masterful debut by an exciting new novelist. Author Lois Leveen combines fascinating facts and ingenious speculation to craft a historical novel that will enthrall readers of women’s fiction, historical fiction, and acclaimed works like Cane River and Cold Mountain that offer intimate looks at the twin nightmares of slavery and Civil War. A powerful and unforgettable story of a woman who risked her own freedom to bring freedom to millions of others, The Secrets of Mary Bowser celebrates the courageous achievements of a little known but truly inspirational American heroine.

 

About Lois Leveen

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Award-winning author Lois Leveen earned degrees in history and literature from Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and UCLA. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, on NPR, and in literary journals and anthologies. A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, she lives in Portland, Oregon.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 673 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Secrets of Mary Bowser
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 15 2012

Deftly balancing history, romance and adventure, Leveen honors the life and historical importance of a brave, resourceful woman.

Read Full Review of The Secrets of Mary Bowser | See more reviews from Kirkus

WNC WOMAN

Excellent
Reviewed by Arlene Winkle on Jun 11 2012

In The Secrets of Mary Bowser, Lois Leveen has positioned the exploits of a quick thinking black heroine in a historically accurate context, setting the stage for a clever twist on the cultural blindness...

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Peeking Between the Pages

Good
Reviewed by Darlene on May 28 2012

This is an amazing novel and a story worth telling. It takes us back to a time when owning slaves was just what some people did...

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From Left to Write

Good
Reviewed by Thien-Kim Lam. on Jul 19 2012

I’ve never been fascinated with the details of Civil War battles, but The Secrets of Mary Bowser made me want to read more about life pre-Civil War. I highly recommend it.

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Life in Review

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Vasquez on May 24 2012

The writing is outstanding, blending historical fact and fiction into an amazing story that will stick with you long after you have finished the book.

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Bippity Boppity Book

Good
Reviewed by Holly on Jun 14 2012

I like when authors take a person who was just a tiny blip on the historical radar and crafts an entire story about them. I LOVE when they do it well.

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Dickens Junction

Good
Reviewed by Christopher on Jul 18 2012

But here’s something fresh and new—a Civil War story you’ve never heard before—and some of it is true.

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Novel Books

Good
Reviewed by Holly Weiss on Jun 02 2012

The Secrets of Mary Bowser is not only fascinating reading, but also historical fiction of the highest caliber.

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Reading Lark

Good
Reviewed by Paula on May 24 2012

It is a rich, compelling read that is good for the brain as well as the soul.

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Bookworm's Dinner

Good
Reviewed by Wisteria Leigh on May 21 2012

The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an irresistible story of espionage and bravery.

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Reader Rating for The Secrets of Mary Bowser
87%

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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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