Reading is a family affair in our house. And although our tastes differ, sometimes hubby and I will encourage one another to read outside our normal interests. History is one of those subjects I have always liked, and something he has only in the last few years developed a taste for.
Interestingly, he came across a review that caught his eye, and said he thought he might be interested in reading it: Patricia Brady's A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011). When he read the description to me, I immediately thought of a book I had read years ago, The President's Lady, by Irving Stone. In fact, I told him, I thought we had it on a shelf somewhere upstairs. And, surprise! There it was, neglected and forgotten for how many years now? I read it as a teen, and even then it was an older book, written in 1951. We decided we would read both versions and compare.
We were not disappointed. Each book covers a fascinating period in our country's history--and the trials and tribulations of a couple whose relationship was called into question not once, but many times throughout their adult life.
From the flyleaf of The President's Lady this tempting tidbit: "...Irving Stone here brings to life the deeply moving story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson. Theirs is a tender and poignant love story, and the reader will find that Rachel Jackson lived the most controversial and amazing melodrama that ever engulfed an American woman."
Both books are good reads (no pun intended!), but I have to admit I have my favorite of the two. Same subject, different perspectives. Both based on fact, but the differing styles, tone, and approach are distinguishable. But that should come as no surprise--the books were written 60 years apart!
Reading the books was both a fun discovery and rediscovery. What old book have you recently rediscovered? Any new versions of an old subject?