A compelling novel about love, betrayal, and ambition by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, The General's Women tells the story of two women—Kay Summersby and Mamie Eisenhower—in love with the same man: General Dwight Eisenhower.
When former fashion model Kay Summersby is assigned to drive General Eisenhower in war-time London, they quickly become involved—in spite of Ike's marriage to Mamie and Kay's engagement to an American colonel. Kay and Ike struggle to keep their commitments but are increasingly and irresistibly drawn to one another. Then Kay's fiancé is killed and Ike, facing the most challenging battles of the war, makes her his closest aide, confidante, and lover. Back home in Washington, D.C., Mamie is fighting her own fierce battles: bitter jealousy, health problems, and a phobic dread of gossip. Ike's letters are only tepidly reassuring; Mamie knows he is involved with another woman and fears that her marriage is lost.
Ike's celebrity at war's end brings new battles for all three. Ike and Kay may wish desperately to stay together after the war, but history has something else in store. Their untold story of love, loss, and divided loyalties continues into their postwar lives—and beyond. Susan Wittig Albert has created an engrossing and deeply sympathetic novel, based on Kay's memoirs, Ike's letters, fellow officers' wartime diaries, and extensive research in three decades of newspaper archives.
Whatever you think you know about the Eisenhower saga, The General's Women will surprise you.
Praise from Reviewers
"The General's Women is an engrossing and humanizing account of a love that blossomed during wartime and scandalized a nation... A historical novel that is sympathetic, satisfying, and heartbreaking." —Foreword Reviews
"A mature, gripping emotional drama... The arc of this multifaceted novel follows the three main characters [Ike, Kay, and Mamie] and a host of secondary ones through the war and back into civilian life. At every point Albert smoothly incorporates an obviously vast amount of research into a tale of raw emotional conflict that can make for some wonderfully uncomfortable reading." —Kirkus Reviews
"A brilliant work of biographical fiction that will fascinate WW2 history fans. It tells the remarkable true story of General Dwight D Eisenhower and his relationship with his Irish-born driver and secretary, Kay Summersby, and with his longtime wife Mamie. It faithfully shines a light on the hidden relationship of the man behind the D-Day landings and what he got up to while 3,000 miles from his wife. A must read!" —Kieron Wood, author of Ike's Irish Lover: The Echo of A Sigh
Praise from NetGalley Reviewers
"Fascinating and imminently readable."
"Realistic and poignant. It was a relationship that lived on borrowed time, intense as it happened, but doomed to endure. The author has a very thorough epilogue followed with a synopsis of her research. Albert sheds light on the rocky path of revisions Summersby's tale took, with some aspects still shadowy. Sometimes the history of a history is a story in and of itself. A not-to-be missed read."
"This book is right on the edge of non-fiction with all the facts, people, and historical events that are so elegantly told. I am a bit of a history buff and this book totally fit that need without some of the dryness you read in a lot of non-fiction or the unbelievability you see in some historical fiction... A wonderful book!"
"A fabulous read. I didn't know very much about Eisenhower before reading this book but I was utterly compelled by the realistic story of his and Kay's affair. Really interesting!"
"As a lover of both biography and historical fiction, I was incredibly interested to read this account of the love affair between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Kay Summersby... It's wonderful that her story—her real story with the man she seemed to truly love right to the end of her life—is finally told."
Praise for Susan Wittig Albert's Fiction
For Loving Eleanor, the story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok:
"Albert captures the turbulent thirties and forties with affecting detail, writing a novel notable not only for its emotional authenticity, but for its careful historicity. Loving Eleanor is an intelligent love story with huge historical appeal." —Foreword Reviews
"This warm, extensively researched novel will entrance readers and inspire them to look further into the lives of two extraordinary women." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
For A Wilder Rose, the story of Rose Wilder Lane, who transformed her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, into a literary icon:
"Albert does an excellent job of bringing historical figures to life in a credible way; her novel is well paced, its characterizations are strong, and the plot is solidly constructed. Readers begin to understand Lane's personality and mentality, as the well as the things that drive her." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A compelling depiction of one of the most significant literary collaborations of the 20th century. That the two people involved were mother and daughter adds to its complexity and human interest." —Anita Claire Fellman, author of Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Impact on American Culture