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Mrs. Lincoln's Rival

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,103 ratings  ·  545 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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Megibeau No, this is part of the series about women in America's history.

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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  3,103 ratings  ·  545 reviews

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Nov 21, 2013 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 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 the Firs ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 rounded up to 3 stars

Well, I am glad that I gave myself a night to sleep on how I would approach this review. Combing through the reviews of other readers, I confess that they just might have stated all the the reasons this book didn't work for me. The book implies that the rivalry between Kate Chase and Mary Todd Lincoln was certainly the talk of Washington . The prologue sets us off for what I truly did feel was going to be a cat fight, but I suppose I should have been thinking about it f
Katie/Doing Dewey
Dec 27, 2013 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 07, 2014 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 14, 2014 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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Written by Jennifer Chiaverini
(Narrated by Christina Moore)
2014; Dutton/Penguin (435 Pages)
(Audio length: 17 hours and 23 minutes)
Genre: historical fiction, american, women, politics, presidents, based on true events

Rating: ★★★★

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 hi
Cathy Daniel
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I discovered why I didn't care for this one very much even though I love the writing. I just didn't find the characters very likable and if I don't like a character, it's hard to like the book. I love the author and didn't have the heart to rate lower though I skimmed the middle to end.
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
I knew little about Lincoln’s cabinet members before reading this book. It focuses on the life of Salmon P. Chase and his daughter, Kate during the time of the Civil War. She was by her widowed father’s side as advisor and hostess of social events while Chase was Secretary of the Treasury. It was no secret that her father aspired some day to be president, and Kate was more than willing to help his star rise. As a result, there were often tensions between Lincoln and Chase,as well as with other c ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bound-book
The title of this book did not match the reading inside. The first half was not my favorite, but the second half redeemed it. An interesting book sharing history that had long been forgotten.
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
Christine (KizzieReads)
I know this was a fictionalized account of true happenings in history, but I found that it was mostly small snippets of story around the actual history. I would have liked a bit more story and a little less name dropping and political endeavors. It just felt like a lot of history telling with a small amount of story surrounding it. Since I am Canadian, and only know of the major historical figures, I was constantly having to search Google to see what these people looked like, while this is not t ...more
Christina DeVane
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I would give this 3.5 stars This book is a long one! Whew! I finally finished it!
The beginning/middle is a little slow, but if you love history you’ll push through. The last 100 pages were the most interesting to me. The story is all about Kate Chase and her life/perspective during the Civil War.
Her life shows how you can be at the height of Society, but lose it all in a few years. The storyline of her husband is so sad, and surprised me the most.
By the end I enjoyed the book more than when I st
Great book about Katie Chase Sprague! She was as popular in Washington DC society as Mrs Lincoln was unpopular. She was the wife of the former “bachelor governor “ of Virginia, William Sprague Sr. She was the daughter of Mr Lincoln’s secretary of the treasury, Salmon Chase.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Recommend: for lovers of antebellum history and stories about empowered women
Warning: minor references to wedding night sex and a illegitimate son
Reading level: kinda boring for the first 1/3 but then it w
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, first-reads
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
Feb 26, 2014 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
Good but not great novel about Kate Chase, the daughter of Salmon Chase. Her father was Secretary of the Treasury during the U.S. Civil War (this is historical fact, so I don't think it needs to be in spoiler tags even though the book starts before that).

The title is misleading - there is very little about Mrs. Lincoln in this book. In retrospect I realize that since Kate was hoping that her father would win the presidency instead of Lincoln, and that she (Kate) would serve as First Lady because
Pamela Beckford
Jan 20, 2014 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
May 13, 2014 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
Ruth Chatlien
Nov 14, 2015 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.
Teresa Johnson
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was a huge disappointment! I have read all of the author's previous books, except Spymistress. This character was just a spoiled, over ambitious young woman riding on her Dad's political coat tails.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
I couldn't find a really likeable main character.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Having read and enjoyed this author's work before, this book was hard to finish and I struggled not to quit half way through. The rivalry implied by the title played little in the actual book besides petty gossip and perceived social snubs. The tidbits of actual history and events of the Civil Way were much more interesting than the relationships surrounding Kate Chase who came across as spoiled and self-centered but then as a woman with a sharp political mind at other times. Very little dialogu ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
If you read 'Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters' this book is similar, but from the viewpoint of Kate Chase Sprague. The book is based on historical data with the authors imagination added for an easy read novel.

This was not as good as 'Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters.' I've read 'Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker' has great reviews and will read it as well. These books take mere hours to finish; not much depth to the characters, but enjoyed the historical aspect of them.
Jan 23, 2014 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
Marcy prager
Jan 27, 2014 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
Mar 21, 2014 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
Mar 03, 2014 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
Apr 10, 2015 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
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked this up thinking it would be far more exciting than it was. If you’re looking for a good cat fight, this is not it. The only reason I continued reading to the end was because I kept expecting the fireworks between the main character, Kate, and Mrs. Lincoln to really get going. Very little ever happened and the book ended flat. Often it seemed that the rivalry was mostly imagined by Kate via her jealousy of Mrs. Lincoln’s position as First Lady; there was little evidence of Mrs. Lincoln ...more
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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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