The Secrets of Mary Bowser: A Novel by Lois Leveen
Based on a remarkable true story, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is the riveting and powerful tale of a woman born into slavery in Virginia sometime around 1840. She was freed by her owner and benefactor and sent to Philadelphia to be educated. Just before the start of the Civil War, Mary defied Virginia law by moving to Richmond to fight for emancipation. She became involved with the Underground Railroad as a teenager and eventually posed as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis. Lois Leveen, a scholar of African American literature, gives strength to the narrative voice of Mary. She deftly integrates historical research into the story and reveals the humanity on both sides of America’s deadliest war. Anyone interested in history, especially the Civil War era, would enjoy The Secrets of Mary Bowser.