The General’s Women
by Susan Wittig Albert
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 07 Mar 2017 | Archive Date 14 May 2019
A compelling story of love, betrayal, and ambition by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, The General’s Women tells the story of two women--Kay Summersby and Mamie Eisenhower—in love with the same man: General Dwight Eisenhower.
When former fashion model Kay Summersby is assigned to drive General Dwight D. Eisenhower in war-time London, they quickly become involved. Kay and Ike struggle to keep their commitments but are increasingly and irresistibly drawn to one another, until Kay’s fiancé is killed and Ike—facing the most challenging battles of the war—makes her his closest aide, confidante, and lover. Back home in Washington, D.C., Mamie is fighting her own fierce battles: bitter jealousy, health problems, and a phobic dread of gossip. Ike’s letters are only tepidly reassuring; his wife knows he is involved with another woman and fears that her marriage is lost.
Susan Wittig Albert’s engrossing and deeply sympathetic novel is based on Kay’s memoirs, Ike’s letters, fellow officers’ wartime diaries, and extensive research in three decades of newspaper archives. Whatever you think you know about the Eisenhower saga, The General’s Women will surprise you.
Average rating from 34 members
Reading The General's Woman is like using a knife through soft butter, it's effortless and it spreads smoothly. The story is about General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby and their relationship during World War II. Albert's depiction is realistic and poignant. It was a relationship that lived on borrowed time, intense as it happened, but doomed to endure. The author has a very thorough epilogue followed with a synopsis of her research. Albert sheds light on the rocky path of revisions Summersby's tale took, with some aspects still shadowy. Sometimes the history of a history is a story in and of itself. All in all, this is a not to be missed read. I received an ARC, courtesy of NetGalley.
It's hard to imagine in this day and age of instant news and gossip and paparazzi; but years ago, public figures were able for the most part to keep their private lives private. Today, the affair between Eisenhower and Kay Summersby would explode in the headlines when Ike was running for president. Perhaps there were whispers of it, I don't know. I was in first grade when Ike first ran for President and I wore an "I Like Ike" button someone gave me because I liked the sound of it. If there was any scandal reported, I wasn't aware of it. I'm sure, however, that even if there was talk, it wouldn't have been blasted all over the news like it would be today.
The author did her research into the subject and we can only assume this novel is factually true. It's an interesting read and one can't help but feel sorry for all three major figures in this story. Ike, Kay, and Mamie. No true winners here.