Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours is touring author Nicole Evelina's novel, Madame Presidentess. Since I am familiar with Victoria Woodhull's story, I requested to review the first chapter.
*Winner: U.S. Women’s History category – 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction
Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.
Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”
But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.
Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.
Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.
This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.
COVER: Very nice. I would expect a strong personality such as Woodhull to be the focus of the cover. The flag in the background is a nice complement. Would have liked if it weren't so dark, but its still a stunning cover.
FIRST CHAPTER: We first meet the Woodhull family when they are in the midst of turmoil. As this first chapter ends, Victoria is about to start a new chapter in her own life.
KEEP READING: Definitely! Long before Hillary Clinton championed for the rights of women and made history by being the first woman to secure the nomination for president, Victoria Woodhull dared to run for president of the United States.
A controversial character, a woman ahead of her time, the first chapter of Nicole Evelina's novel explores a change in Woodhull's life that left a mark on her. Told in first person, as any story about Woodhull must, this engaging narrative is exciting and disturbing. The reader can already see how these events will shape Woodhull's future.
I'm totally fascinated by this novel and will definitely continue with it.
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing (July 24, 2016)
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To enter the Madame Presidentess Giveaway for a paperback of the book and/or Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker, please see the GLEAM form below. 3 winners will receive a copy of the book and a bumper sticker. 7 winners will receive the Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker.
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I received a free digital copy of this book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.