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Mrs. Lincoln's Rival

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  2,621 ratings  ·  482 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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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 ...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
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
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.
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
Jan 23, 2014 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
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
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.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
I couldn't find a really likeable main character.
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
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
Nathalie S
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
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
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
Dec 21, 2014 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 03, 2014 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 18, 2015 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
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Chiaverini's first novel, MRS. LINCOLN'S DRESSMAKER, was wonderful. Rich in historical detail, bravely exploring a relationship never much spoken of... I assumed the follow-up, this novel, would be just as riveting. It was not. Kate Chase, daughter of Lincoln cabinet member and future Chief Justice Salmon Chase, came across as a whiny, entitled brat. I cannot count the number of times the narrative is interrupted for Kate to have yet another thought of "that should have been my father's," or "he ...more
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Lincoln's Rival is about Kate Chase Sprague, the daughter of politician SP Chase. I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be a page-turner, educational, interesting, and relaxing to read. I enjoyed all the details about the politics and society in Washington in the 1860's, and the civil war.

The title of the book is really just a way to introduce you to Kate. The rivalry is only a small part of the book, as are the notes about Mrs. Lincoln. though this is fiction based on history, I found
Mar 02, 2014 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
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Donna by: My mom
Really this should be 2 1/2 stars. I can't really bring myself to say I liked it but it does rate higher than 2 stars. Part of my problem is the dialogue is so stilted. I realize it is reflective of that period but it is cringe worthy at times. The other part of it is Katherine Jane Chase was a conniving bitch. I could not like her in any sense of the word. I swear, if the First Lady had given me the stink eye at any point in our interaction I would have made myself scarce from that point forwar ...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