Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray
: Despite years of separation and increasing turmoil, an uncommon friendship endures. Mary Anna Custis grew up as the sole heiress to Arlington and the treasures once owned by President Washington. A skilled writer and painter fluent in four...
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Despite years of separation and increasing turmoil, an uncommon friendship endures.
Mary Anna Custis grew up as the sole heiress to Arlington and the treasures once owned by President Washington. A skilled writer and painter fluent in four languages, Mary believed that those enslaved at Arlington should be taught to read and write. Among those who attend Mary's weekly classes in the small schoolroom at Arlington is young Selina Norris.
Born to slaves on the plantation, Selina was fifteen years younger than her teacher, but wise beyond her years. After Mary wed Lt. Robert E. Lee and moved with him to his posting, Selina was brought into the main house to train as a housekeeper. As Mary periodically returned home to give birth to six of her seven children, and as her health steadily declined, Selina became Mary's personal maid and confidante. When Selina decided to marry Thornton Gray, another Arlington slave, Mary and her mother hosted the wedding in the parlor at Arlington, where Mary herself married Robert E. Lee.
Then the Civil War erupted, Mary and her daughters were forced to abandon Arlington. Mary became a war refugee whose loyalty to her husband and the Confederacy grew stronger, even as Selina yearned for freedom. Even so, Mary trusted no one but Selina with the keys to her home and its precious contents.
Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the first novel to chronicle the story of these two women on opposite sides of history who found a common bond in their humanity and loyalty to one another. Their extraordinary fifty-year friendship is beautifully illuminated in this meticulously researched and insightful novel.
A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their two golden retrievers. An accomplished author in the secular market, Dorothy makes her debut in Christian fiction with the Hickory Ridge novels.