Sisters of Fortune: America’s Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad is an in-depth look at the lives of four siblings who formed the backbone of wealth, politics and society in the nineteenth century.
Told from the perspective of previously unpublished letters written by the Caton family and detailing intimate facts and family history, Author, Jehanne Wake displays her flawless research and writing ability.
Marianne, Bess, Louisa and Emily Caton were born, bred and raised in Maryland, primarily by their wealthy grandfather, Charles Carroll, the sole Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Only because of his influence, wealth, and connections, were these sisters able to travel extensively, be exposed to impressive members of society, and gain their own financial security. The lives of each sister is thoroughly chronicled in this interesting novel, complete with photographs.
Although my preference in reading novels are ones written in third person, I was deeply impressed with the factual display of information uncovered by Ms. Wake in this historical biography, specifically the last chapter which acknowledges the numerous avenues she traversed to write this book. The Caton sisters were able to become influential, educated, and involved in politics and financial decisions long before other women of their time. Opinionated, free-spirited and considered beautiful and charming, the Caton sisters rocked not only the US but England and France, overcoming prejudices and achieving enviable social status. This novel allows readers a glimpse into their personal lives and romances.
The reading of this book was quite a different venture for me, but one I enjoyed and recommend. The experience uncovered feelings of pride in a sisterhood that paved the way for females in today’s political and financial world. I wonder what the sisters would think if they were alive and recognized their contributions. To the author, I say, "Well done, Ms. Wake, well done!"