This was a book which combined the best of many genres. History in great descriptive detail and then the person behind the great character - his life, loves and the women he fell in love with.
General Ike Eisenhower was a character. Leading from the front, he was successful combining the Allied forces with American troops to halt the German Nazi tide in Europe. Success came to him slowly. Very slowly. For sixteen years he languished almost forgotten and then the rise and the promotions came very swiftly. It took him to London first and then to Europe and Africa. His wife of very long standing was very set in her ways - she thought she would not be able to travel, she thought she had a weak heart, could not take any stress, decided not to bring the army and his professional life home at all. Mamie Eisenhower sounded a very selfish and a self centred woman. The General getting attracted to Kay Summersby in London seemed fated from the beginning. Kay was young, attractive and determined to do her job well. She did it too showing extreme bravery during the Blitz and carrying out all duties entrusted to her, including driving the General around London in blackout conditions.
Their relationship was doomed however as he would never be able to get out of his marriage for both political and personal reasons. Kay knew this. She had been warned about it but she lived for the moment and loved him very deeply.
The poignancy of their relationship is very well told in this book. You feel sad, happy, overjoyed but the sense of an ending comes is always there. Kay came out of this badly, Ike also but not as badly. He had options open to him which he took becoming President of the United States.
For lovers of history, this is a must read. My knowledge of the American involvement in the War was sketchy. This filled out all the blanks. From a very deep love story angle, this was a classic.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Independent Book Publishers Association.