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A novel about the extraordinary partnership between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune—an unlikely friendship that changed the world, from the New York Times bestselling authors of the Good Morning America Book Club pick The Personal Librarian.
The daughter of formerly enslaved parents, Mary McLeod Bethune refuses to back down as white supremacists attempt to thwart her work. She marches on as an activist and an educator, and as her reputation grows she becomes a celebrity, revered by titans of business and recognized by U.S. presidents. Eleanor Roosevelt herself is awestruck and eager to make her acquaintance. Initially drawn together because of their shared belief in women’s rights and the power of education, Mary and Eleanor become fast friends, confiding their secrets, hopes and dreams—and holding each other’s hands through tragedy and triumph.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, the two women begin to collaborate more closely, particularly as Eleanor moves toward her own agenda separate from FDR, a consequence of the devastating discovery of her husband’s secret love affair. Eleanor becomes a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights. And when she receives threats because of her strong ties to Mary, it only fuels the women’s desire to fight together for justice and equality.
This is the story of two different, yet equally formidable, passionate and committed women, and the way in which their singular friendship helped form the foundation for the modern civil rights movement.
.Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray are the co-authors of The First Ladies, as well as The Personal Librarian, both of which were Instant New York Times bestsellers.
Benedict is also the author of The Other Einstein, the USA Today bestselling Carnegie’s Maid, the New York Times bestseller and Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick The Only Woman in the Room about the brilliant inventor Hedy Lamarr, international bestseller Lady Clementine, and the Instant NYTimes and USAToday bestselling The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. Writing as Heather Terrell, Benedict has also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.
Murray is the author of more than 30 other novels, including the novel Stand Your Ground, which won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction. Four of her novels, Lust, Envy, Wrath and Greed have been made into TV movies for Lifetime.