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Mrs. Lincoln's Rival

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  2,080 Ratings  ·  422 Reviews

Kate Chase Sprague was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of a devout but ambitious lawyer. Her father, Salmon P. Chase, rose to prominence in the antebellum years and was appointed secretary of the treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, while aspiring to even greater heights.

Beautiful, intelligent, regal, and entrancing, young Kate
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2014)
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Dec 20, 2013 Erin rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I've come to the conclusion that I must approach Jennifer Chiaverini's work with a certain degree of caution. She isn't a bad writer, she actually has a great command of language and prose, but I find her brand of storytelling less than satisfying.

My biggest concern is her tenancy to substitute fact based exposition in place of original content. This reliance makes her narratives interesting, but relatively dry and notewort
Feb 12, 2014 Diana rated it it was ok
This really pains me to write this, but this book is just not enjoyable. I have read almost all of the authors previous works & thoroughly enjoyed them (The Spymistress was awesome). Yes, the book was well-written & well-researched. Unfortunately, there was no 'Rivalry' to speak of, therefore no real drama. The protagonist of the book, is a young, entitled brat who relies on her father's success to advance her social standing. So in the end, we have a daughter of a Cabinet member versus ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Dec 31, 2013 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it it was ok
Kate Chase, known as the Belle of Washington in the civil war era, was as beautiful and charming as she was politically savvy. Her good humor and social graces earned her the friendship of many but Mrs. Lincoln perceived her social success as a threat. This rivalry was only one of the challenges she faced while managing her father's political career and her many suitors.

I went into this book with high expectations, having read several great reviews of the author's earlier books. I was immediatel
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Mar 11, 2014 Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
DNF...couldn't get past the 100 page mark. Boring...boring...ZZZZZZ
I have way too many other books waiting for me so I'm moving on.
Jan 29, 2014 Wanda rated it really liked it
Mrs. Lincoln's Rival is a work of fiction that is inspired by historical facts. The author did a tremendous job with the details of the Civil War, as President Lincoln struggles with the difficult realities of that time. At times I felt bogged down with political details and almost abandoned the book, but kept reading and I'm so glad I did.

The author paints a stunning picture of Kate Chase who is elegant, outgoing, and filled with charm and I soon became engaged with her willful character. Kate
WC Beaver
If indeed, as author Ms Chiaverini says, Kate Chase is truly one of the most fascinating women ever to grace the swamps of Washington, there must exist a dearth of available candidates. It is true, however, that Kate wields significant influence over her inestimable father, Salmon Chase, but she is not likable. Mrs Lincoln is not likely to win friends and influence people to a greater degree than Kate.
This fictionalized historic biography is more a recollection of Secretary of the Treasury Chase
Feb 12, 2014 Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
I won an Advance Reader's Copy of this novel through the Goodreads First Reads program. I must first say that I was thoroughly impressed with the subject matter and the level of details and research put into the novel. In my opinion, it is comparable to Antonia Fraser and Alison Weir's level of detail. The novel is about Kate Chase Sprague the daughter of Salmon P. Chase who was the Treasury Secretary for President Lincoln. It details Kate's impressive determination to assist her father in his b ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Kelley rated it really liked it
As a long time fan of Chiaverini, I've been looking forward to reading this novel.

After reading "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker", I expected something different than this novel. I expected it to be mostly about the rivalry between Kate Chase and Mrs. Lincoln; instead, it was about Kate's life during Lincoln's tenure as president. Again, Chiaverini's research was impeccable and the fictionalization of the characters believable. Kate Chase was a woman far ahead of her time in a political sense and I fo
Pamela Beckford
Jan 20, 2014 Pamela Beckford rated it really liked it
After having read Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and absolutely loving it, I was anxious to read another book from the exact same time. The author has such a command of descriptions and the history and portrayed Kate Chase as a powerful political and social young woman. I would like to have gotten more of the rivalry between Miss Chase and Mrs. Lincoln though. The story follows Miss Chase and her father over several years. I felt the book ended rather abruptly however. While it was a fairly long book ...more
Ruth Chatlien
Nov 14, 2015 Ruth Chatlien rated it liked it
I found this book unsatisfying. We get only a brief chapter of Kate Chase's life—the Civil War years, in keeping with the theme of her supposed rivalry with Mrs. Lincoln. I think Kate Chase deserved better.
Jan 23, 2014 Judie rated it liked it
Kate Chase was the elder daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s rival for the Republican party nomination for President in 1860, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, and appointed by Lincoln to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Her mother died when she was not yet five. Her father remarried twice and was widowed twice. Kate became her father’s official hostess, confidant, and political advisor.
MRS. LINCOLN’S RIVAL primarily focuses on the years 1859 through 1865, the year before
Sep 26, 2016 Kami rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but it moved so slow.
Jan 27, 2014 Marcy rated it liked it
Kate Chase, the daughter of the Secretary of the Treasury, was a beautiful debutante who was her father's advisor and confidante. In place of her mother, who died, Kate accompanied her father to the White House balls and high society dinners. Kate's father had hoped to win the the Republican presidency, but Mr. Lincoln was the proclaimed winner. It was Kate's dream and her father's ambition to become the president in the future.

It is hard to know what caused the rivalry between Mrs. Lincoln and
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written by Jennifer Chiaverini
2014, 435 Pages
Genre: historical fiction, american history

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


Kate Chase Sprague is the eldest daughter of an ambitious lawyer, Salmon P. Chase who had his eye on the Presidential seat. With the death of his second wife, Kate becomes Salmon's hostess. She was at his side to attend parties and threw parties on his behalf. Kate saw herself as the First Lady as her father rose i
Nathalie S
Mar 21, 2014 Nathalie S rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker" so I was anxious to read "Mrs. Lincoln's Rival" and was not disappointed. Jennifer Chiaverini offers rich details of this time period and is truly a master story teller. The "rival" is Kate Chase, daughter of Salmon P. Chase who served as governor of Ohio and later as Secretary of the Treasury in Abraham Lincoln's administration. The story is even more compelling as these are real life characters in U.S. history. I looked up their photos onlin ...more
Linda Anderson
Aug 10, 2016 Linda Anderson rated it really liked it
The writing is not stellar nor is there suspense in this work of historical fiction. The book was more about Salmon and Kate Chase and their father-daughter relationship than about the rivalry between Kate Chase and Mary Todd Lincoln. The approach to the political climate was most interesting. The author probably did depict the 1850's and 1860's very historically. I enjoyed the book from a detailed account of the political times of the Civil War. The day to day activities of the characters was f ...more
May 26, 2015 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I struggled to read most of this book because of the great detail the author put into the historical facts. Most of this information I already knew. However I am so very glad that I finished the book. The story is about Salmon P. Chase and his daughters Nettie and Kate during the Lincoln Presidency. Kate was a social butterfly and her whole life was involved in promoting and protecting her father Salmon P. Chase. I knew very little about this family and I felt the author gave an interesting port ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Cara rated it really liked it
I originally read this author's series about a circle of quilters. I liked those, and then she started adding flashbacks to explain some of the quilters' family history. The historical parts soon made the modern parts seem really boring by comparison, so I'm really happy to see her writing whole historical novels.

I really enjoyed this book, although it made me sad how just a few bad decisions can totally change the course of a person's life and basically ruin it. (view spoiler)
Andrea Stoeckel
Mar 05, 2014 Andrea Stoeckel rated it it was ok
This is a ho-hum attempt to again hop on the Lincoln bandwagon. I'm sorry, there is little new except to make Mary Todd Lincoln look bad.

Kate Chase Sprague was her father's chatelaine after the death of her (step)mother(s), running the house, taking care of her sister, becoming her father's helper and right hand in personal and political roles.

The book traces the dicey history of the Republican Convention of 1860 (remember, they were the liberal party at that time) through the death of Salmon P.
Mar 19, 2015 Christina rated it did not like it
The title is misleading. The "rivalry between Kate and Mrs. Lincoln is never really explained. We are periodically reminded that they dislike each other but that's about it. Also, that whole story is such a minor part of the book. In fact, Mrs Lincoln is only mentioned a handful of times. I know so little of Mrs Lincoln, that even though this is historical FICTION, I was excited to learn more about her. I felt the purpose of the book ended up being to describe the events surrounding the civil wa ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I've always been interested in this time of American history and really liked Mrs. A Lincoln. This was along those same lines with insight into the political machinations of the time and the power some women held behind the scenes. The personal life of Kate Chase was no less intriguing, but much more depressing. I kept hoping she would not marry William Sprague or that he would change. That did not happen, but I suppose disheartening endings are unavoidable in books b ...more
May 17, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
I got to page120 and didn't continue with this book because I felt the author was too historically humdrum. When I read historical fiction, it is to get away from the tedious fact-gathering of nonfiction. It is always refreshing to have historical fiction novels which delve into characters centered in historical times. Ms. Chiaverini did just that with her previous novel, "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker". But, she misses the mark with "Mrs. Lincoln's Rival". I do look forward to future historical fic ...more
Virginia Winfield
Dec 31, 2013 Virginia Winfield rated it liked it
I received this ebook through penguins first to read program for a fair and impartial review. This was a bit wordy. I had a hard time liking Kate. I almost liked her abusive husband better. This was not near as good as The Spymistress or Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. I hope her next book compares more to the first two book. I so wanted to love this book but I just could not.
Rosemary Phelps
Mar 17, 2015 Rosemary Phelps rated it it was ok
Unfortunately I found this book quite boring, might be because I am not American. Too much of the politics of the time and not enough of a good story line. I enjoyed the Elm Creek novels more.
Mar 31, 2015 Tori rated it it was ok
I couldn't find a really likeable main character.
Jenni V.
Jan 21, 2017 Jenni V. rated it it was ok
Ho hum. I really don't have anything positive or negative to say about this book. The fact that it took me 8 days to read this speaks for itself; the pages turned slowly. The author's note at the end with the updates on how Kate's life turned out was the most interesting part to me and I would've read an entire book on her marriage/divorce.

Part of the problem was I felt the title is misleading so that threw me off from the start. There really isn't much about Mrs. Lincoln at all and I didn't get
Jan 16, 2017 Mary rated it liked it
Interesting historical novel about Kate Chase, the daughter of Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon B. Chase. Salmon was always plotting to become president himself. A widower, he enlisted daughter Kate from age 16 on to be his hostess, confidant and campaign manager. She became known as the "Belle of Washington" rivaling Mary Lincoln herself.

Much of the book is devoted to the courtship of Kate and William Sprague, the "Boy Governor of Rhode Island," and their tempestuous marriage. This t
Jan 02, 2017 Fay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this some time ago, perhaps a year or two. I did enjoy it and found I learned a lot about the goings on in Washington during Lincoln's time. His wife was quite jealous of our main 'character,' who was the daughter of Lincoln's treasury secretary (sorry, his name does escape me!) I have no doubt that this sort of rivalry could have existed making life in the social circles of Washington more interesting than they otherwise might have been. Knowing it was a novel based on historical fact, I ...more
Oct 19, 2016 Diane rated it it was ok
I was disappointed while reading this book-it was more about the government and events within the Lincoln administration than a rivalry between A daughter of a cabinet member and the First Lady. The Spymistress and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker were thoroughly enjoyable and well written, but Mrs. Lincoln's
Rival leaves a lot to be desired. It definitely lacked a story of rivalry! It certainly opened my eyes to the undesirable characteristics of Kate and Salmon Chase and Kate's husband William Sprague
Jan 04, 2017 Jewett rated it really liked it
This book was interesting. In a few places it seemed to drag but the story followed history very well and gave a new slant for me to think about.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Nov 19, 2014 03:18PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 03:46PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 06:04PM  
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Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Se ...more
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