Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: An In-Store Discussion with Charlotte Gray
Date and Time:
Oct 18 2023 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The Book Stall
811 Elm St., Winnetka, IL 60093

Charlotte Gray

Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: An In-Store Discussion with Charlotte Gray

Community Event

The Book Stall is excited to host award-winning historian Charlotte Gray on Wednesday, October 18 at 6:30 pm for a discussion featuring her new book, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt. This captivating dual biography of two famous women whose sons would change the course of the 20th century, is impeccably researched, and filled with intriguing social insights. Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons breathes new life into Sara and Jennie, offering a fascinating and fulsome portrait of how leaders are not just born but made. Ms. Gray will be interviewed by our very own Jon Grand! She will be happy to sign her works following the talk. This event is free with registration, to register, please visit our website.

More About the Book: Born into upper-class America in the same year, 1854, Sara Delano (later to become the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Jennie Jerome (later to become the mother of Winston Churchill) refused to settle into predictable, sheltered lives as little-known wives to prominent men. Instead, both women concentrated their energies on enabling their sons to reach the epicenter of political power on two continents. Sara and Jennie, raised with privilege but subject to the constraints of women’s roles at the time, learned how to take control of their destinies, Sara in the prosperous Hudson Valley, and Jennie in the glittering world of Imperial London.

Set against one hundred years of history, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons is a study in loyalty and resilience. Gray argues that Jennie and Sara are too often presented as lesser figures in the backdrop of history rather than as two remarkable individuals who were key in shaping the characters of the sons and preparing them for leadership on the world stage.

Margaret MacMillan, New York Times bestselling author of Paris 1919 and War, says, “Gray has managed to do the virtually impossible, and that is to say something new and perceptive about Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. With her usual keen eye for the telling detail and her sympathy for her subjects, she argues for the importance of the statesmen’s relationships with their two very different but forceful mothers.”

More About the Author: Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers and the author of twelve acclaimed books of literary nonfiction. Her bestseller The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial That Shocked a Country won the Toronto Book Award, the Heritage Toronto Book Award, the Canadian Authors Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History, and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries. An adjunct research professor in the department of history at Carleton University, Charlotte has received numerous awards, including the Pierre Berton Award. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Visit her at