Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Page Turners: New Evening Book Group at Bernardsville Library

The first meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s new evening book discussion group, Page Turners, will be held on Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 pm in the library’s small meeting room. Library Director April Judge will lead the discussion of “Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker” (2013) by Jennifer Chiaverini. [The author will not be present.] 

An historical novel, the book presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

Keckley saved scraps from the dozens of gowns she made for Mrs. Lincoln, eventually piecing together a tribute known as the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt.  She also saved memories, which she fashioned into a book, "Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House." Upon its publication, Keckley’s memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckley’s story has languished in the archives. In this carefully researched novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.

A New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the sixteen volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and four books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics.

There is no charge to attend, and no registration is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

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