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Love is Eternal
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Love is Eternal

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,097 ratings  ·  113 reviews
A novel about Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1954)
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Fifties Fiction Favorites
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Community Reviews

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Sherrey
Irving Stone is quickly becoming a favorite author. Never a great fan of reading history just for the sake of reading it, Stone brings history to life by using the historical fiction genre and providing interesting dialogue. I didn't know much about the Lincolns when I started reading this, other than what they teach in school. It was indeed sad how Abraham Lincoln struggled with melancholy and depression, but I found it amazing how he recognized it and usually worked himself through it. Despite ...more
Liberty
Mary Todd Lincoln always seemed a dour woman in the background from a historical perspective. However, this book depicts an intelligent woman prevented from achieving her full potential by conventions of the time period and circumstances. Though Lincoln would not allow her to make use of her political contacts, she could and did give input on Lincoln's ideas and speeches, in addition to providing a safe haven for him when he needed it. In spite of suffering from skull fracture as a result of a c ...more
Laura
Jun 26, 2008 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history lovers who like to read history as a novel instead of a textbook.
I found this book extremely interesting. I didn't know anything at all about Abraham Lincoln's wife or children. I really enjoyed the book, even though Mary wasn't a character I loved. But it's always interesting to learn about real people and their struggles. And once you learn more of their personal struggles, you can understand their actions so much better. For any history lover, this is a must-read.
Molly Jae
For some reason this was a very slow book for me to read. I get frustrated with historical fiction sometimes because I like to have the historical parts separated from the authors ideas of what may have taken place or what may have been said. I think that I prefer David McCullogh when reading history. That said, however, I did make it through the book, and felt such sorrow for the Lincoln's through all of their lives and for the nation during the Civil War years. It is interesting to review all ...more
Laina
Wow- this one took me a while, didn't it? Nevertheless, I LOVED it! I love the idea of historical fiction, and this book seemed more history than fiction, which is a good thing in my opinion. However, that made the story a little less gripping, hence the long reading time.

The picture this book paints of Abraham Lincoln is nothing short of breathtaking. We see his faults, his virtues, his frustrations, his failures, and his successes. I had never studied more than cold facts about what Lincoln d
...more
Jessica
I enjoyed this book! I really liked learning about Mary Todd Lincoln and the personal issues of Abraham as well. The book also gave great political context to the situations leading up to the civil war as well, and I found that interesting as I have forgotten a lot of the history. The book really made we want to re-study that time period more. One thing I really appreciated was the attention to family dynamics; I have heard many biographers discuss Mary Todd in less than favorable light, while m ...more
Sally
I first read this book when I was 17 years old. I was given an old hard copy of it a year or so ago. I just finished it last week.

This is the love story of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. It is wonderful. I love the history that is blended into the story. It is historically accurate, as Mr. Stone used old letters and journals to create the dialog.

It is a timeless love story that is especially poignant, becasue we all know how the story ended. I cried as if I had no idea what was coming.

One of my
...more
Catherine
I liked this book because I learned a lot about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, and I also learned more about the Civil War. Irving Stone cited a lot of sources, including personal letters written by members of the Lincoln family, close friends, and politicians. I felt like he definitely did his homework, so I felt like a lot of the story must have been true to life. I felt so sad for the Lincoln's as they had children die, other family members die, political failures, illn ...more
Chandra
I really enjoyed this book. It gave me more insight into the lives of Mary and Abraham Lincoln. I had no idea how much they endured and went through in their lives. Even though I knew the ending, it was well enough written to make me emotional about it.
Kristine
Historical fiction about the courtship and marriage of Mary Todd Lincoln and President Abraham Lincoln. Apparently the author based it on letters she wrote friends and family and diaries - though I haven't confirmed that. Fascinating and always interesting to see the behind the scenes of a couple that was a powerful part of history. Glimpses into Abraham's struggle with depression and the loss of their child, and how their marriage bore all of those things in addition to his rise to president.
Alexandra Medina
Irving Stone's book called, Love Is Eternal impacted me with its extremely love story. For example, this story is about a marriage and romance love about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln and how Abraham engraved his name on Mary's soon to be marriage ring. Sometimes people fall in love with the materialistic side of a guy and not with the real love that, that person has for you. I think that looks, money, or anything else matters in a guy or a girl I think all that matters is their heart and how th ...more
Jess Michaelangelo
Well, it took me forever to get through, but overall, I'd say this one was a 3.5 star read.

For fans of Abraham or Mary Todd Lincoln, or for fans of Civil War period history, this is a great read. Mary Todd is a woman who has always been of interest to me, and being that this book is told from her perspective, it really offered insight into this woman who sadly became one of the history books' pariahs. I can't speak for everything in this book, but from what I know of some of the history, Irving
...more
Poiema
At first glance, Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln seem ill-matched: she, the elegant daughter of wealth and society, and Abraham the homely son of a poor frontiersman. But the two things they held in common were enough to cement their lives together in matrimony, namely a shared literary interest and an unabashed political ambition.
Mary enjoyed a truly classical education, some of it obtained surreptitiously when she sought out the tutorship of a man who was headmaster of a private boys' school. Sh
...more
Jina Howell-Forbes
Apr 03, 2013 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: US History buffs
This book amazed me. I didn't take US History is college, so my knowledge of the Lincolns comes from High School, and the few things I've heard or read occasionally.

I always heard that Mary Lincoln was silly and vain. I'd heard that she spent money irresponsibly, and made Abe miserable.

Instead, the picture of Mary painted by this book is of a highly educated person who had southern manners who used both those things to assist Abe.

It is true that she sometimes spent more money than she should ha
...more
Jenn
Aug 21, 2008 Jenn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jenn by: Becky
This is a great historical fiction book. It gave a good look at both Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln. They had many struggles and it is amazing what he was able to get accomplished. She was a very strong personality, quite a snob that did a lot of things just because she wanted to. It was amazing to me how many times he lost the race before winning the presidency. I was happy for the history lesson considering I thought the Civil War started to emancipate the slaves when in reality it was ...more
Joe
The Lincoln-Douglas debates don't get started until 2/3's the way through. The Lincoln presidency doesn't begin until 3/4's the way through. So this book is in the doldrums early and stays there for a long time.

Hardly anything revealing about Mary's madness. Finishing at the assassination, It doesn't even get to her insanity trial.

Nonetheless, I did learn a little.
Ashley
A really amazing read about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln told from her perspective. I learned so much about both of them. I had no idea her aristocratic political southern upbringing and her ambitions for the White House (Stephen Douglas courted her too). And one of the things I love about historical novels is knowing the outcome of events (they will get married, he will be president, he will emancipate the slaves, he will be shot) but discovering how the dots connect. And there were plenty of ...more
Angfife
I love this book and author. I read this15 years ago and have never forgotten it. I reread it a few months ago. Really interesting information about Abe Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd. Language is kind of old fashioned, but researched really well. Great sketch of the time period.
Gabby
My favorite book!

Great quote:
"A wave of almost unendurable happiness swept over her. Long ago Abraham had said, 'Love is eternal,' and she had thought, if one can live that long. Well, she had endured.
She must always remember that: love ebbed and flowed, now rich and shining, now shabby and disconsolate. One must survive the bad in order to realize the good. Therein lay the miracle of love, that it could eternally re-create itself. She must always be dedicated, no matter what the years held, wha
...more
Rachelle
I read this several years ago, but really enjoyed this historical fiction book about both Abraham Lincoln his wife. I learned a lot about history and learned to love and appreciate the couple and the heartaches and challenges and love they had.
Joy
I really enjoyed this book.... we have read several about Lincoln recently that have been from the outside looking in... I don't know how accurate this one is but the approach was softer and I liked that.
Joy H.
_Love Is Eternal_ (1954) by Irving Stone

4/1/11:
I read this book a long time ago. It was about Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. I remember that I liked Irving Stone's historical fiction. I've probably read several other books by him but I have no record of them.

I just came across a mention of Stone's historical novel, The President's Lady: A Novel about Rachel and Andrew Jackson (1951). Sounds familiar. I'll have to keep that book in mind.
Wendy
May 27, 2008 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: American History Lovers
Recommended to Wendy by: Mona
Shelves: fiction
When I lived in Colorado I belonged to a book club. This was years ago, and they weren't quite so popular as they are now. We had 12 members and we each chose a book for our month.

This was one of the titles on our list. I am not a big fan of romance novels. I am a big believer in not judging a book by its cover, but in this case, don't judge a book by it's title.

The story is of Mary Todd Lincoln and her husband, Abraham Lincoln. It has much more to do with history, and politics than eternal lov
...more
Bonnie
Jul 30, 2009 Bonnie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bonnie by: my cousin, Sue Jeffers Sager
I read this book many years ago and I was so impressed by the depth of the personal story of a historic character (Abraham Lincoln). I didn't realize then what a historical novel really was all about and I took the entire book as accurate. Still today, it is one of my most favorite books and Irving Stone is still a favorite author.


Update: I am rereading this book after 50 plus years. It's the one I am taking to the mountains 07/18/2009.

Finished reading again. Can't believe I plowed through this
...more
Claudia Segal
This was a bit dry at times but an excellent view of the relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln. Most of the narrative focuses on her life, their courtship and the period of their lives before he entered the White House. It was a good read and I would recommend it. It was a perfect audio book.
Gayle
I really enjoyed reading this book, but I gave this book only 3 stars. It told the story of how Abe and Mary met, married, started a family, and earned their place in The White House. But I was disappointed that the story ended so abruptly after Abe's death. I wished it had gone on more about what Mary did after that point. How she continued on and what her life was like. That's the reason I read this book, but it didn't fulfill my 'need' for more insight on Mary Todd. I probably should have wai ...more
Nicki
Lives up to the excellent standard set by Stone in other novels. I love presidential history and recently visited Ford's Theater and the house in which Lincoln died, so it was surreal to read such a detailed account and be able to really see it in my mind. Excellent portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln, although still a bit hazy on her public image vs. Stone's portrayal. He certainly does a lot to redeem her historically "bad" reputation and credits her with so much of Lincoln's historic decision to en ...more
Kathy Kleponis
I read this book when I was in high school and after seeing the film "Lincoln" I wanted to re-read this story. The screenplay captured the same personalities that Stone depicted. I was left with the feeling that without Mary Todd Lincoln there wouldn't have been an Abraham. It certainly seemed to me that Mary was the driving force behind her husband. Her support and love surely were eternal. In reading the book I felt that Mary got a "bum rap" with the people around her and in the years after Li ...more
Margaret Dillon
This book offers a fascinating view into the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. The reader experiences with them the trials, heartbreaks, disappointents and defeats that they meet and overcome as Lincoln progresses from small town lawyer to the White House. The author skillfully weaves in the background of the Civil War, revealing the complexity of the issues. I most enjoyed the sensitive portrait of Lincoln, the president perhaps the most maligned in his life but the most appreciated by po ...more
Karalee
Dec 27, 2008 Karalee rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no
Recommended to Karalee by: Neighborhood book group
I read this book for my neighborhood book group and I wasn't a huge fan. This book is a historical fiction. I found myself depressed reading about how sad a life Abe Lincoln and his wife had. The whole time there was sadness and very little happiness. And the book is way long (505 pg.) for all that depression. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are way into history and you love Abe Lincoln...or maybe you shouldn't because I use to like Abe Lincoln and now...not so much.
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In 1923, Stone received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In the 1960s, Stone received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Southern California, where he had previously earned a Masters Degree from the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

When at home, Stone relied upon the research facilities and expertise made available to him by Esther Euler
...more
More about Irving Stone...
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“She must always remember that: love ebbed and flowed, now rich and shining, now shabby and disconsolate. One must survive the bad in order to realize the good. Therein lay the miracle of love, that it could eternally recreate itself. She must always be dedicated, no matter what the years held, what the hardships or disappointments, the sorrows or tragedies: she must come through them all, through the most violent and frightening storms; for at the other end, no matter how long it might take or how dark the passage, one could emerge into clear warm sunlight.” 1 likes
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