Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters
by Jennifer Chiaverini
After the death of three of her sons and a decade after the assassination of her husband, Mary Todd Lincoln is declared legally insane and is committed to an asylum. After watching his mother’s erratic behavior, irresponsible spending and hoarding for years, Mary’s son Robert takes responsibility for pursuing this arrangement. In alternating chapters Mary’s sisters attempt to explain the family’s history and Mary’s behavior. Eventually Mary is invited to recover at Elizabeth Edwatds home in Springfield. (Elizabeth was one of Mary’s sisters.) Mary never recovers and is forever alienated from her son.
This is a treat for fans of historical fiction. It provides an interesting look into Mary Todd’s family, her unusual interest in politics, the courtship and marriage of Mary and Abraham along with the triumphs and tragedies they faced.