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Miss Lizzie's War: The Double Life of Southern Belle Spy Elizabeth Van Lew

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  14 reviews
As the Civil War ground on, an underground Unionist movement flourished in the heart of the

Confederacy, led by an unlikely leader. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy and well connected member of Richmond’s elite, risked everything to help save the Union, skillfully directing this clandestine group and becoming General Ulysses S. Grant’s spy in Richmond. Surrounded by a cadre of
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Globe Pequot
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Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
This book is historical fiction at its best! When I choose historical fiction, I look for a book that is not only set in a historical time period, but is also one that tells me a bit about the events and people that were part of that history. Thiat means I expect to be reading an embellished version of real people and real events, and to learn something I didn't already know. This book does that very well! You see, the main character in this book is Elizabeth Van Lew, a REAL person; a woman who ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book because I was able to learn about Elizabeth Van Lew. But, I had some problems with parts of the "novelization" of the story. (I found the book in B&N History section so was disappointed to see that it is an historical novel.) I understand that in historical novels the author must create conversations and thoughts etc. that explain certain aspects of the story and that help move the story along. However, I was very dismayed to read in the Afterword that the lover/fiance Allen ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fog ghosts from past memories emerge to stick to Elizabeth, who is also known as Bet, but in the title is introduced as Lizzie.
There was confusion at the start of book because the characters weren't defined clearly to the reader.
Two characters named Eliza.
1. Older Eliza is Elizabeth's mother.
2. Younger Eliza is Elizabeth's (Bet) friend who lives across the street.
Two characters named Mary.
1. The dark haired sister-in-law Mary, super-supporter of confederates, married to the-younger-still aliv
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book about a wonderful, ever so courageous woman, early fighter for human rights in spite of her social context (wealthy family within very pro slavery Richmond's high society).
It has been said about her that her involvement in the anti slavery cause and her intelligence (in both senses of the term) helped the Unionists to prevail, and it's easy to believe after reading this incredible story of how she literally organized a spying network to funnel information to the Northern Commandmen
Diane Williams
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
what an amazing lady . astute, thoughtful and careful. an inspiration. you would like to think you would do something like this if you were in that situation!
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this fictionalized accout of Elizabeth van Lew's wartime experiences, I was distracted by wondering what was fact and what was embellishment. By the second chapter, though, it didn't matter. I thoroughly enjoyed the story for what it was - romance, espionage, historical novel all in one. For straight history, I'll look for "Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy"
by Elizabeth R. Varon or Heidi Sch
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the fictionalized account of a southern woman who became a Union spy. She and her mother freed their slaves before the Civil War. Many stayed on and were paid a salary, but pretended to be slaves as they as well as the Van Lew family would have suffered. Elizabeth ministered to the Union soldiers imprisoned in Richmond, VA. She sent information on Confederate troop placements to Union generals. I want to read her biography. What a woman.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not good. If the author had narrowed her focus, this would have been a much better book. This suffers from WAY too many perspectives, like the author is trying way too hard to justify the Union cause by focusing on one person from each walk of life. The chapters featuring Lincoln are especially disappointing and largely unnecessary. On a whole this reads like a first draft, not a finished product.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
The true story was terrific, but the writing was sub-par. The one thing the author did do was make the fear and loathing of the South for the North viscerally clear, which in part explains why they go on fighting the Civil War today.
Jun 06, 2012 added it
Read for review for HNS
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well written, engaging...I learned a lot. And I was motivated to learn more on my own. Very inspiring to see people so willing to risk their lives to help another human being.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
A little slow - but interesting since I'm living in Richmond and most of the story takes place here! Love Civil War stuff, and enjoy a good historical fiction? This is for you. ...more
Peggy Sieger wichmann
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Apr 28, 2017
Kim Guth Barnes
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Jay Hurst
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Oct 19, 2012
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Mar 05, 2015
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Jul 30, 2012
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Apr 11, 2013
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Dec 16, 2018
Janet Lienberger
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Jan 15, 2013
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Readers' Society ...: January Pre-Meeting Discussion! 2 7 Dec 31, 2012 11:23PM  
Readers' Society ...: Jan.'s book 2 7 Dec 20, 2012 06:08PM  

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