This story is narrated by Elizabeth Keckley. She is a well known dressmaker, who sews for some of the most elite women in Washington City. When Mrs. Lincoln comes to the White House, she starts sewing for her also. The friendship of these two women grows through the years of Lincoln’s first term in office and lasts for years after his death.This book started off very good. We get to know Mrs. Keckley and some of her patrons. The character development of these historical figures was pretty good and I was hooked. Once Lincoln was in office and the war started, this book shifted to very well-researched, very detailed history lesson. There was not much of a story line aside from the historical one that we all know.Again, the character’s of the President and the First Lady were well developed. Lincoln was portrayed as a very kind and level headed man with spark of humor. I liked reading the parts of the story where he had something to say, and I was sad to see him go. Mrs. Lincoln was portrayed as impulsive and selfish. Even though she suffered some heartbreak both before and after her husband’s death, I just couldn’t bring myself to like her. I couldn’t understand why Elizabeth continued to stand up for her over and over.This book was a bit of a surprise. I was hoping for even more of Mrs. Lincoln’s and Mrs. Keckley’s friendship and less of the political turmoil surrounding the President. I love to learn about fashions of different times in history, and I expected the author to include more about the dresses that the dressmaker was making.In the end, I don’t think that this is a bad book at all. Just the opposite, it is quite an accomplished biography. However, for me, there was not enough fiction in this historical fiction.