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The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

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4.51  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Inspired by a woman and events forgotten by history, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott weaves together carefully researched fact and fiction to tell the story of Mary Emmons, and the place she held in the life--and the heart--of the notorious Aaron Burr.

He was a hero of the Revolution, a brilliant politician, lawyer, and very nearly president; a skillful survivor i
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Paperback, 512 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Jessie
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the first sentence, I was immediately invested in Mary’s story. Even now, weeks after finishing it, this book has not let me go. As soon as I met Mary, I felt a strong connection to her and concern for her. It never felt like she was just a character––she was a person who I truly cared about.

Not only is Mary’s character beautifully written, but the other characters, such as Aaron Burr and his wife, Theodosia, are written in a way that truthfully depicts the complicated people they were. At
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Christina J.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last night, I finished The Secret Life of Aaron Burr ( my phone autocorrected that to Butt and I was half tempted to leave it that way).

I have so many complicated feelings about this book. I loved Mary dearly. I disliked Theodosia. Full disclosure: I didn't love Aaron Burr the man before this book, but I definitely did not like Aaron Burr the character any more by the end of it. Susan Holloway Scott, I don't know how you do it but the complexity in this book was ever present. I understood Mary'
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Vivian
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't be fooled by the title. "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr" isn't a romantic fantasy, but the saga of a young slave girl sold away from her homeland to the British colonies in America at the very dawn of the Revolution. Nor is this a traditional story of slavery on a big plantation, either. Mary is a slave on a farm owned by Theodosia Provost (who later marries Aaron Burr) in New Jersey. She is a first hand witness not only to the Revolution and the creation of the country, but also many of th ...more
Beth Dunn
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down once I’d started it — this book drew me in right away and kept me turning pages and starting new chapters long after bedtime. That’s partly (obviously) because it’s a truly gripping story that’s been deeply researched and sensitively told, and partly because (I suspect) I just really wanted to get to the part where things get better for Mary. But ignore that cover art — this isn’t a romance novel, and it doesn’t follow romance novel expectations and tropes. In the e ...more
Jenny
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed reading this book. The story moves quickly and steadily. There is TONS of wonderful historical detail and a concerted effort to make sure the information is accurate, from clothing to actions to material culture. This is a book I would love to see made into a film. It's a story and perspective that needs to be told.

The story follows Mary from her childhood into adulthood. Her perspective is eye opening; she is an enslaved woman, and the reader experiences everything as
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Erin
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
I really enjoyed the life of Mary Emmons, but let's talk about Aaron Burr. My loyalty to the Hamiltons especially Eliza just cannot like him. But I digress....


A sweeping historical The Secret Life of Aaron Burr takes readers from India to Saint-Domingue and finally to the Thirteen Colonies. Susan Holloway Scott unravels the little told story of a woman whose descendants had a tremendous impact on the American nation.

Scott didn't have a lot of written information about Mary, but she creates a r
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L.M. Elliott
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the great fortune to read this marvelous book pre-publication and recommend it highly to any HAMILTON fan, any Revolutionary War buff, anyone with interest in honest and ultimately feminist historical fiction. Scott has taken an untold fact of history--that Aaron Burr fathered two children with a woman of color named Mary Emmons while he was married to his beloved Theodosia--and portrays that circumstance in the most painful and typical setting of the time, with an enslaved woman in Burr's ...more
Nenia ✨ Literary Garbage Can ✨ Campbell
I got an ARC!

Also, side note: I may have to read this in tandem with Anya Seton's MY THEODOSIA, which is also a historical romance about Aaron Burr (albeit much older).
Becca Hoskins
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite heroine of the year so far! Mary is strong and unstoppable, no matter what life throws her way. I won't forget her, or this book either.
I received this book in a contest in exchange for an honest review. I really did love this book!
Martie Nees Record
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Books
Pub. Date: September 24, 2019

Susan Holloway Scott has written a well researched, epic tear-jerker novel that was inspired by a real-life enslaved woman, Mary Emmons. You will not find her in the many biographies of Aaron Burr. She has been forgotten by history. The author weaves together truth and fiction to tell her story and that of the American Revolution. The novel is told through Emmons’ voice to highlight the cruelty and hypocrisy of the
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Lisa Martinese
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished an ARC of this book and it was so very interesting for me to read the authors most recent Historical Fiction novel that revolves a bit around Alexander Hamilton as I so enjoyed her last book, I, ELIZA HAMILTON. Though Hamilton’s nemesis is the featured male character in this particular book, Hamilton is featured in snippets throughout the book as he serves under Washington and then finds his way as a Lawyer like Mr. Burr after the war. Their rivalry deepens due to their opposing ...more
Denise  Reed
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Historical fiction at its very best! So many historical fiction books I have read of late are lots of "fluff" and little history, but The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr is the crème de la crème! It is chock full of historical facts but is artfully weaved with just the right amount of fiction to create a masterpiece.

I'll admit, going into the book, my knowledge of Aaron Burr was somewhat limited - I knew he had been a Revolutionary war hero, who was a rival of Alexander Hamilton and eventually fatall
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Jessica Parkhurst
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you love historical fiction, this is a great choice! Scott clearly did thorough research for every aspect of this story. The details are thoughtful and brought me as a reader into that time period. I learned a lot about a part of history I hadn’t previously know. It’s a dense book so don’t expect a quick read, but worth the time. I will definitely read other books from this author!
Lynn
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received an Advance Reader Copy from Goodreads. A compelling story of a woman lost to history but not to memory. I was inspired by this story of Mary Emmons and her struggle for a better life.
Madison
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As I read the advance copy of this remarkable book, I thought, "People are either going to love this or hate it" and I see that the ratings here are either five-star or one-star. I'm not surprised. This heroine and her story will make some people uncomfortable in what they believe about the early days of American history. In some ways, it's a satisfying, old-fashioned historical saga, rich in well-researched historical detail and with a determined heroine. Unwanted and illegitimate, Mary is sold ...more
Lindsey
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book to read. Aaron Burr has become a bit of an infamous villain in recent years but historically, he was both someone who had somewhat progressive beliefs for the Colonial time period and was rather self-serving.

This book starts with Mary, who was sold into slavery in India who comes to Burr in the form of being a servant to his wife Theodosia. The first part of the book tells Mary's story prior to meeting Burr and was well written with good research of the injustices o
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Janilyn Kocher
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Scott's book is a timely novel. She delves into a little known aspect of Aaron Burr's life, who remains an enigma in American history. The author showcases a woman, Mary, who hailed from India and whom played an integral role in Burr's life, although never acknowledged. I think the author did a masterful job with a difficult topic and captured the voice of Mary very well. I appreciated the afterward the author provided, that filled me in the information gaps. This is an excellent historical nove ...more
Jennifer
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An incredibly immersive, detailed look into the little known private life of Aaron Burr. While this story is difficult at times, it never deviates from the harsh reality of the times and leaves an empowering mark on the reader. I would highly recommend this for any historical fiction fan!
Megan Capra
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, engaging book with an amazing heroine. So much more than I was expecting. A complex story that keeps you turning the pages long into the night. Although it's set in the 1700s, there are many themes here that make this book so relevant for today. Perfect for book clubs.
I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair review.
Jen (The Bookish Blonde)
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott
Hero of the American Revolution, Aaron Burr is most notably known as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in that infamous and fatal duel.
Long before that fateful day that ended the life of one man and ruined the life of the other, rumors surrounded Burr; whispers of his sexual appetite, his untrustworthy behavior, and his habit of claiming whatever he believed should be his.
Little is known of Marry Emmons, a slave in the house of Theodosia
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Camille Pum
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the giveaway! Mysterious and charming, I was captured by this tale.
Cynthia
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-s
I am feeling rather ambivalent toward The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott. I can't quite put my finger on the reason or reasons why. It has many of the ingredients that books I love have in common: historical characters and events, chances to see behind the scenes, a story that continues over many years. So why did it take me so long to read it? I usually finish a book of this length within 2 and rarely 3 days; this book was perhaps nearly a week. Often I found myself with some ...more
Sandra
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy novels set during the American Revolution and all the “players” of the time, The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr is definitely for you. With thorough research author Susan Holloway Scott gives voices to characters that will stay with you for a long time.

I adored this book. Mary Emmons is a fantastic character and a woman that gave birth to leaders in the abolitionist movement in the early 1800s. Enslaved as a child in India to a French aristocrat and sold once more to the husband of Theod
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Loraine
Intriguing from start to finish, this historical romance about a little known woman captivated me from start to finish. Mary Emmons started life in India as the Mulatto baby, Veeya, the child of an Indian woman raped by a British soldier. Her mother dies at birth, and Veeya is left with an uncle who despises her because of her mixed race. She is sold off at the age of 8 to a French lady and begins her life of servitude that takes her from India to Santo Domingo and finally to the United States w ...more
Rachel
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott is a fantastic historical fiction read that creates a story surrounding a stunning woman that history knows very little about. Mary Burr (as I will call her for simplifying the review) was an enigma. The author did a fabulous job honoring this strong, resilient, intelligent, and preserving woman. Mary was flawed and imperfect, while also honest to a fault. I think that is why I enjoyed this novel so much, is that the author was impressive in ...more
Rachel
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott is a fantastic historical fiction read that creates a story surrounding a stunning woman that history knows very little about. Mary Burr (as I will call her for simplifying the review) was an enigma. The author did a fabulous job honoring this strong, resilient, intelligent, and preserving woman. Mary was flawed and imperfect, while also honest to a fault. I think that is why I enjoyed this novel so much, is that the author was impressive in ...more
Jessica C.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a solid 4.5 star historical fiction story about Mary Emmons, which history knows little about, and Aaron Burr, who we often do not hear or read about! I love historical fiction and I was so excited to find something that wasn't about the other common Founding Fathers that we always hear about.

Author Susan Holloway Scott really brought Mary Emmons to life. There was so many details and such great character development that it was impossible not to feel what Mary's character was fee
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Firetruckmama
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway, for which I'd like to thank the publisher, author, and the Goodreads customer support staff.

I was interested in this book due to it's historical nature - Aaron Burr, one of the so-called villains of the Revolutionary War era, had a secret wife? I found the book a very interesting fictional read, as the history surrounding Mary is hazy at best. I found the weaving of fact and fiction also interesting and it's easy to see that the author
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Angela Williamson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Life of AAron Burr fills you in on a little known woman in Colonial history. Mary Emmons was sold into slavery at the age of 8 in her native India. As she grows up, the story shares the abuses and injustices done to slaves in the early days of our country, By the time Mary Emmons meets Aaron Burr, he is a soldier, fighting for America. Mary shares her story with Aaron Burr with us from her first meeting with him, his marriage to her widowed mistress, his life in the law, politics and ...more
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Aka Miranda Jarrett
Aka Isabella Bradford

Susan Holloway Scott is the author of over fifty historical novels and historical romances. Writing under several pen names, she has received numerous awards and honors for her bestselling books. With more than three million copies of her books in print, she has been published in nineteen foreign countries around the world and translated into fourteen differ
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