The First Lady and the Rebel by Susan Higginbotham

The First Lady and the Rebel

The story of Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm, two sisters on separate sides of history, fighting for the country they believe in against the people they love most When the Civil War cracks the country in two, First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln watches from the White House as the blows of a divided nation shake her people and her husband, President Lincoln, to their very core. As the news of wartime enter the Oval Office, Mary waits with bated bre...

Details The First Lady and the Rebel

TitleThe First Lady and the Rebel
Release DateOct 1st, 2019
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Military History, Civil War, Fiction

Reviews The First Lady and the Rebel

  • Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨
    WONDERFUL PREMISE, BUT STILL ODDLY LACKING Sadly, I have had this problem with Higginbotham's books before. They are well written with interesting subjects, but there is always just something lacking, keeping me from fully getting into and loving her books. THE THINGS I LIKED The premise: The American Civil War narrated through two high profile sisters, one backing the Union, the other the Confederacy. That is a truly enticing and interesting pr...
  • Erin
    3.5 stars Thanks to Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Alternating in the narrative between sisters Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm, Susan Higginbotham takes readers back to American Civil War where politics separated families. The conflict between North and South has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager. I hope I am not the only Canadian who feels this way! Tensions did run ...
  • Annette
    This is a story of two sisters: Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm. Both women chose to be loyal to their husbands. Abraham Lincoln stood for the rights of humanity. Benjamin Helm decided to be loyal to the South.1839: Mary Todd lives in Lexington, Kentucky. She visits her sister Elizabeth in Springfield, Illinois, where she meets Abraham Lincoln. She finds him fascinating from the first glance. As a short person, she never cared for tall men,...
  • Karren Sandercock
    Thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss, Sourcebooks and Susan Higginbotham for giving me the chances to read her new book: The First Lady And The Rebel.I must admit at the very start of the book I was a little unsure if I would like it and if I would find it boring? Not the case at all, I really enjoyed reading it and it's a brilliant book.It's a interesting story about two sisters, they married two very different men and when the American Civil War star...
  • Megan
    This is a story of two sisters living during the Civil War. Each happens to be on a different side—one a Rebel and one in the Union. The sisters are none other than the wife of Abraham Lincoln (Mary Todd Lincoln) and her half-sister Emily. "The First Lady and the Rebel" by Susan Higginbotham is a dual perspective novel, told from Emily and Mary’s points of view. I loved learning about these women and this time period. It was fun to read about...
  • Amy Bruno
    When I pick up a Susan Higginbotham book I know I'm going to learn a lot and be entertained at the same time, which is exactly why I read historical fiction, and in The First Lady and the Rebel we get both in spades.Of course the first thing that drew me to reading this book is the abslutley gorgeous cover. I mean, come's an eye-catcher! Then I saw that it was a Higginbotham book AND that it was on Mary Todd and Lincoln, two figures in h...
  • Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction~on hiatus))
    Ever since first reading Gone With the Wind when I was eleven years old, I've been fascinated by stories set against the backdrop of the Civil War but as a lover of historical fiction, I was drawn to The First Lady and the Rebel because I wanted to learn about Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm, two sisters torn apart by the tragedy of war. Although I have read about Lincoln and Mary before, I only had a passing knowledge that her sister was a...
  • Meghan
    I received this book as an ARC from Sourcebooks Landmark in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.I am familiar with the story of how Abe and Mary met and fell in love with each other that started the relationship of one of America's most famous presidential couples. The presentation that Susan Higginbotham laid out throughout the book was descriptive enough to be right there in the st...
  • Patty
    Mary Todd leaves home to spend time with her married sister Elizabeth in Illinois. There it is hoped she will find a husband. She goes to a number of parties and balls but it’s only one man who appeals to her – Abraham Lincoln. A lot of other men are put off by her interest in politics and the news of the day. But Mr. Lincoln finds her fascinating. Their relationship goes through some bumps as does his political career but ultimately they get...
  • Loraine
    This duel perspective novel is my first read by Susan Higginbotham. Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm are sisters. Both are married to important men. Mary becomes the wife of Abraham Lincoln, and Emily becomes the wife of General Benjamin Helm, a southern general.I found this an intriguing look at the Civil War from a woman's perspective. The author begins the book by tracing both sister's courtships and marriages. The courtship of Abraham Li...
  • Cathy Daniel
    This book is a perfect example of what everything good about historical fiction. How much I loved this book!! Let me count the ways I loved the historical accuracy!! The author didn't take unnecessary liberties with history. And what was supposed on her part and what wasn't was clearly outlined in the author note (another sure sign of a well researched, well done HF) mostly all factual. I learned new things and I was entertained and completely su...
  • Stephanie
    Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm are two strong willed sisters who happened to marry two men of equal conviction. Abraham Lincoln is elected to the presidency just as his nation begins to split. Mary is in support of his views for the nation, but finds that many of her family members are not. Emily encourages her husband, Benjamin to travel to Washington upon Lincoln's election and ask for a post within the government. Ben finds that he resp...
  • Janet
    When you don't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!! I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do . The story of Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm, two sisters on separate sides of hi...
  • Sarah
    4.5 StarsReview coming soon...
  • Sarah
    Two sisters, Mary and Emily, divided by war and on different sides of history itself. Mary is wife to President Lincoln and Frist Lady of the United States of America. Emily is the wife of Benjamin Helm, a general of the Confederate army and aiding the Confederate cause. What follows is the story of a family, like many others, that is spread across both sides of the divide and the hardship that result._____________________________________Very slo...
  • CRz lowkey.bookish
    The First Lady and the Rebel is the story about two sisters: Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Todd Helm. The book does an excellent job alternating between the sisters telling the story of their lives from 1842 to 1876. The thing with this type of story is you know what is going to happen in the end. The fascinating part was in the details about their lives and how their stories unfold from chapter to chapter. This book kept me interested througho...
  • Merrilee Gibson
    The First Lady here is Mary Todd Lincoln, while the Rebel is her sister Emily Todd Helm, in a depiction of their lives during the war years of the 1860’s. The situations of the two sisters differ significantly, but their lives are forever marked by the events we meet here.I found this book fascinating. I have a particular interest in the Civil War, as several of my ancestors fought in it on one side or the other. Some came home again, some did ...
  • SandyKay
    I was disappointed in this book.As a disclaimer, I have two degrees in history. My biggest problem with this book was the lack of depth/interest in the characters. No matter the length of time spent with any individual, I never felt like I was getting to know that person. Everything felt very surface-level. Truthfully, it felt like I was reading a history textbook with one of those inserted stories the midst of facts to try to make students/the r...
  • The Lit Bitch
    3.5 starsThe first thing that caught my eye about this book was its absolutely stunning cover, and it’s even more beautiful in person! I couldn’t take my eyes off of it and easily found room on my schedule to read it.I also thought the time period and setting would be appealing as I am a Civil War historian, I couldn’t wait to crack it open and discover the story of two sisters on opposite sides of the Mason Dixon line!The two sisters were ...
  • Stacey
    I really enjoyed "The First Lady and The Rebel" by Susan Higginbotham. I've long been interested in Abraham Lincoln who served by the best of his own strong conscious and hurt over both Union and Confederate losses of life. I also enjoy historical fiction so I was confident I would enjoy this story. It took me forever to read but that was pretty much due to the fact that every time a character or event was mentioned I had to google it to find out...
  • Dorothy Schwab
    Who has been the most worthy occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Susan Higginbotham believes it’s Abraham Lincoln. This is a deeply personal accounting of the Civil War told from the point of view of Mary Todd Lincoln and her half sister, Emily Todd Helm. The intimate memories of Mary and Abe’s first encounters and subsequent engagement in contrast to Emily and the love of her life, Hardin Helm, will keep the reader traveling in time and pl...
  • Margaret
    Susan Higginbotham is an author I respect for the research in her historical novels. I’ve read a number of them and appreciate her attention to detail.The First Lady and the Rebel is not just a story about sisters but of a country torn apart by war. It was informative on one hand and entertaining in the other. I learned a lot. I’ve read a number of books on Mary Todd Lincoln but not from her point of view, this was a nice change. While her ch...
  • Lisa
    I enjoyed this moving story of Mary Lincoln and her rebel family very much. All that I knew ábout her before reading this captivating historical novel was that she came from the South, and she suffered from mental illness. Susan Higginbotham brings her to life, and she also tells the tales of her half-sisters who actually married men who fought for the Confederacy! As Lincoln himself said, America was truly a 'house divided'.It would have been e...
  • Erin
    Told in alternating chapters by Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Lincoln, and her southern-sympathizing sister Emily Todd Helm, this book offers a glimpse of daily life during the Civil War like no other. While I found it a little slow at times, it was fascinating seeing Abraham and Mary Lincoln in a completely different light than they are usually betrayed. I read "Courting Mr. Lincoln" just before this one and I found them a great supplemen...
  • Amy
    I am a huge fan of Susan Higginbotham and her books. The First Lady and the Rebel does not disappoint. I enjoyed getting to know Emily and Mary. This book gets a well deserved five plus stars. I loved it!
  • Bethany Swafford
    Mary Lincoln stands by her husband through any and every thing, but the rest of the country eyes her with suspicion due to her relatives taking the side of the Confederacy. Emily Todd Hern has married for love, but her husband’s ties to the South put her opposite her sister. In a fight that tears families apart, can any family ties remain in place?I thought it fascinating to watch the story alternate between these two sisters. There have been n...
  • Audra (Unabridged Chick)
    "But you were right, in one respect. Those bullets made us what we are."Susan Higginbotham's newest novel takes the familiar Civil War story of brother-versus-brother and offers a fresh, sad version: sisters Mary and Emily Todd. Mary Todd would marry Abraham Lincoln while Emily would marry Hardin Helm, a devoted Confederate who would eventually become a General in the Confederate Army. From a Kentucky slaveholding family, the Todd siblings were b...
  • gwendalyn _books_
    The First Lady and the Rebel is award-winning author Susan Higginbotham’s, latest novel. A captivating and powerful book that captures the sisterly relationship of Mary Todd Lincoln and her sister, Emily Todd Helm, wife of a Confederate general.The author has created a compelling dual narration, that gives us an intimate look into the lives of two of the most notable woman in civil war history.1839, Mary Todd travels from her home in Lexington,...
  • Connie Fischer
    The Todd family had quite a number of sisters. Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln and Emily Todd married Hardin Helm. In this story Mary, of course, is the First Lady and Emily is the Rebel. As it was the time of the war between the north and the south, Mary and Abraham were with the side of the north and Emily and Hardin were with the south. This made the relationship between Mary and Emily very difficult but the sisters always loved each other.W...
  • Emma's Things to Read
    It's clear that a lot of research has gone into this novel. There's lots of details of the battles, troop movements and the key figures of the period.The dual narrative begins and ends with Mary and Abraham Lincoln - opening during their courtship in 1839 and ending with the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's death.Despite being written from the point of view of the women, neither have much control over their destinies. Both follow where their hu...