by Patricia O'Brien
In this book O'brien has brought to life the Beecher family, one of the most influential families of the 19th century. The book focuses on the relationship between Harriet and Isabella. Harriet was the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Isabella was a proponent of women's rights. When a scandal threatens their families reputation they come to an impasse that almost destroyed their relationship.
This story is as much about the relationships between all of the Beecher family as it is about loyalty. The book illuminates the relationship that each of the sisters had with their famous brother Henry Ward Beecher who was at the center of the scandal. Henry had been accused of adultery with another mans wife and the ensuing trial and nationwide scandal almost ruined them all.
While this book is fiction, there is so much biographical data in the book concerning all of the characters that one almost imagines they have a ringside seat to what went on during that time of their lives. This book is excellent! O'Brien is a master storyteller. I just didn't want to put the book down once I'd started it.
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