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Download The Secrets of Mary Bowser: A Novel Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Secrets of Mary Bowser: A Novel (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Lois Leveen
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,129 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lois Leveen Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN:
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Based on a remarkable true story, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an inspiring tale of one daring woman's willingness to sacrifice her own freedom to change the course of history.

All her life, Mary has been a slave to the wealthy Van Lew family of Richmond, Virginia. But when Bet, the willful Van Lew daughter, decides to send Mary to Philadelphia to be educated, she must leave her family to seize her freedom.

Life in the North brings new friendships, a courtship, and a far different education than Mary ever expected, one that leads her into the heart of the abolition movement. With the nation edging toward war, she defies Virginia law by returning to Richmond to care for her ailing father - and to fight for emancipation. Posing as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis, Mary deceives even those who are closest to her to aid the Union command.

Just when it seems that all her courageous gambles to end slavery will pay off, Mary discovers that everything comes at a cost - even freedom.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Raimundo | 2/17/2014

    " I so very much wanted to LOVE this book but i just liked it. It was too long, the historical preferences and accounts were wonderful, but I didn't so much care for all the "fictionalized" parts. The story of Mary Bowser should be required studying, but this book needed a historian not a novelist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carleen | 2/15/2014

    " Interesting read, a bit tedious at times, perhaps writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise Dolence | 2/12/2014

    " Best book I've read in a long time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia Brooks | 2/9/2014

    " Fascinating, personal story about the civil war from a perspective that I haven't read before. It makes you realize what life was really like in the years before the war, during and near the end. It felt like it ran out of steam a bit toward the end and petered to a stop a bit but otherwise completely engrossing and well-written book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy Musselman | 1/31/2014

    " This is a great book about a slave that gets free and works as a spy....very good read... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/28/2014

    " I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction. I slept through history in school, I found the excessive memorization of dates and battles fought meant little without a human element with which to relate. Parts of this book did send my mind wandering, the array of names, dates and battles were difficult to keep straight at times, especially when I'm not interested in history in the first place. But, and this is a big revelation for me, I did not skip read this book. Somehow, it caught my attention from the beginning and I was able to read it straight through and enjoy the story. Perhaps it was the characters--following along on Mary's journey as she grew up but never away from her roots, the struggles and sacrifices of her parents, the mini-stories of the rescued slaves as they traveled North to freedom, the intricacies of Mary's complex relationship with Bet (who would be a fascinating psychological study on her own merit), the colorful personality of McNiven, the love between Mary and Wilson--that helped me relate with the backstory going on in the book. It may have been the author's adept use of accurate regional dialogue, enough to get the gist but not so excessive that it became difficult to read. She obviously did her homework, the book was well researched and, IMHO, very well written. She made the story of a former slave who obviously served an integral part in the Civil War espionage game interesting, and that takes talent. I was impressed, and that's difficult for me to say in this modern era of "trashy novels" written by under-educated hacks who took a community college creative writing course in how to appeal to the lowest common denominator (Twilight or 50 Shades anyone?). This book actually inspired me to think "Maybe I can do this after all" after years of giving up on my writing. I believe this is her first fiction attempt, I will look forward to more from Lois Leveen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Howe | 1/20/2014

    " Very interesting story! Loved the Richmond history! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 1/20/2014

    " Historical fiction at its best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Ostrom | 1/7/2014

    " Very good account of the war in the States. I enjoyed listening to this audio book and hearing more about both sides of the issues was very helpful and informative. This book did an excellent job of showing both sides of the issue and the bravery of ordinary people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/21/2013

    " Interesting book very loosely based on a true story about the abolition of slavery. Enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie | 12/12/2013

    " Here's a well told story about an ex-slave who returns to slavery in order to assist the Union Army as a spy during the Civil War. This story isn't one that is taught in American history, but deserves a place in our history books about slavery in America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 12/10/2013

    " The first book I read on the Kindle! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 12/1/2013

    " good read for adults. better read for late middle & high school. reads like Little House. but because it is historical fiction -- story is quite compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke Nelson | 9/22/2013

    " Would have liked more history, but other than that, I was enthralled by the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malkie | 3/22/2013

    " Nice historical fiction. A different perspective on the South and what blacks went through. Reads easy and is lighter "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole Wallace | 12/19/2012

    " Very slow. I am quite interested in this time in our history, but for some reason this book just didn't grab me. I kept plugging along and eventually finished it but I was never invested in the story or the characters, unfortunately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh Woods | 11/2/2012

    " Excellent. Very enlightening. What chances she took. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqui | 10/12/2012

    " Read it - great book!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqui Bell | 8/29/2012

    " Book sounds amazing and I can't wait to meet the author on Tuesday at UDM!!! Great Book! Mary Bowser was a true heroine of her time. Can't say too much more so I won't let anything slip. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marsha | 7/2/2012

    " After seeing the movie Lincoln, I wanted to read about the Civil War times via historical fiction. This book fit the bill. Written from the less well perspective of a woman freed from slavery choosing to live in Virgina. Well written and enjoyable to read. I highly recommend the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dorothy | 5/24/2012

    " Great historical fiction! It's all about a former slave who was a spy in Richmond, VA, for the Union during the Civil War. I really liked it, and I think you will, too! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie | 5/19/2012

    " A historical novel of the civil war and slavery. It just didn't hold my attention. "

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About the Author
Award-winning author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet. Her work has appeared in numerous literary and scholarly journals, as well as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Bitch magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and on NPR. Lois gives talks about writing and history at universities, museums, and libraries around the country. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with two cats, one Canadian, and 60,000 honeybees. Visit her online at LoisLeveen.com and Facebook.com/LoisLeveen.
About the Narrator

Robin Miles began her audiobook narration in 1994 covering many different genres and has won twenty-nine AudioFile Earphones awards. In 2014 she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in the Inspirational/Faith-Based Nonfiction category. Her film and television credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in Theater Studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.