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Becoming Madam Secretary

By Stephanie Dray

A Poignant, Thoughtful, and Moving Tale of an Impressive Woman



Frances Perkins is a highly educated worker's rights advocate who was relatively new to NYC when she met a young and handsome FDR at an NYC tea dance in 1910. She immediately dislikes him. She thinks he is a wealthy, arrogant, conceited dilettante who will never amount to much.  But in 1929 as Governor of NY he appoints her as the state Labor Secretary and in 1933 he appoints her as the first woman in American history to serve in a presidential cabinet. Frances fights valiantly for FDR and for a social security program to bring the country out of the midst of the Great Depression.


If you're a fan of books about strong, intelligent women, then I highly recommend this book. Author Stephanie Dray has done an incredible job in crafting a historical fiction story about an exceptional woman. The book chronicles the life of Frances Perkins, from her childhood to her career, marriage, motherhood, and friendships. I'm so glad to have discovered this wonderful novel that sheds light on the life of such an amazing woman.

One thing that I particularly appreciated about this book is how the author distinguishes between fact and fiction. Dray has done meticulous research, and it shows in her writing.

The author's writing is powerful and compelling, bringing to life a woman who was ahead of her time and faced many challenges during a tumultuous period in American history. Frances Perkins was a woman of great fortitude, and Dray does an excellent job in capturing her spirit on the pages of this book.

In this book, you'll read about how Frances Perkins fought tirelessly to create the social security system that we have today, and how she stood up against powerful men with intelligence and wit. Her drive to help those in need is truly inspiring. This is a poignant, thoughtful, and moving book that I highly recommend.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher    Berkley Publishing Group

Published   March 12, 2024

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