"Masterfully written, The Secrets of Mary Bowser shines a new light onto our country's darkest history."--Brunonia Barry, bestselling author of The Lace Reader "Packed with drama, intrigue, love, loss, and most of all, the resilience of a remarkable heroine....What a treat!"--Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May AlcottBased on the remarkable true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is a masterful debut by an exciting new novelist. Author Lois Leveen combines fascinating facts and ingenious speculation to craft a historical novel that will enthrall readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, and acclaimed works like Cane River and Cold Mountain that offer intimate looks at the twin nightmares of slavery and Civil War. A powerful and unforgettable story of a woman who risked her own freedom to bring freedom to millions of others, The Secrets of Mary Bowser celebrates the courageous achievements of a little known but truly inspirational American heroine.