I thought I would start this review by mentioning that I previously read
THE GENERAL'S WOMEN by Susan Wittig Albert, which deals with the
same subject as this book, although Mamie Eisenhowever plays a larger
role in that book. Nevertheless, in my opinion, one can't get enough
books if the subjects interest you. So it was with eagerness I looked
forward to reading this book.
Ike Eisenhower was a general in the US army before he became
President of the United States. During WWII, Eisenhower was one of
the generals that worked with the British government in London. Since
all the road signs were taken down because of the blitz, American
generals needed drivers to get them around. Eisenhower is assigned
Kay Summers as his driver, and he likes having her drive him around so
much that after a trip back in the United States, he requests that she
drive him around when he returns to London. And, that is just the start.
Soon there are rumors they are having an affair...
I love reading biographic fiction and I especially love tragic forbidden
love stories, like this one. Of course, one has to take books like this
with a grain of salt. The author weaves biographies, letters,
recollections and of course, imagination to create this book. But that is
part of the charm of historical fiction: to see how the author uses
sources to write a fictional novel. IKE
AND KAY is an interesting book, and I love this time period in
history. Sometimes I did want the story to go a bit deeper when it came
to some characters or events, and that some things weren't fully
explained in context. I also felt it got a little repetitive when some
characters constantly whined about Ike and Kay's supposed
relationship. Finally, I would have loved to have had more of Mamie
Eisenhower in the book. All of that being said, I thought James
MacManus managed to describe and develop the main characters in
the book very well. I personally loved when FDR wants a picnic in the
African desert, and how it contrasted to the picnic Churchill wanted.
FDR is such a fabulous person, and even though he's not much in this
book did I feel that MacManus really captured his charisma. As for Ike
and Kay, well what can I say other than he did just as well with them.
MacManus made them human, with weaknesses and all.
IKE AND KAY is a book that is well
written and atmospheric and if you like biographic fiction, then this is a
book for you!
The sweeping love story at the heart of the Second
World War, vividly reimagining General Eisenhower and Kate
Summersby’s infamous, star-crossed affair
his latest historical novel Ike and Kay, acclaimed
author James MacManus brings to life an unbelievably true
and controversial romance and the poignant characters and
personalities that shaped the course of world
In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed
forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower
on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite
Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair takes an immediate
liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury:
a box of chocolates.
So begins a tumultuous
relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay
traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places
before the final assault on Nazi Germany. The general does
dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman
widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans
his new obsession with “Ireland.” That does not stop him
from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank
in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to
America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to
divorce from his wife they threaten the fragile but
passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate
measures to hold onto the man she loves . . .
on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret
World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a
compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice, and heartbreak,
set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of
the twentieth century.