In 1854, Jennie Jerome (future mother of Winston Churchill) and Sara Delano (future mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) were born. They grew up with incredible privilege but refused to settle into predictable, sheltered lives. They lived life on their own terms, but both enabled their sons to reach the epicentre of political power on two continents. Charlotte Gray breathes new life into the stories of Jennie and Sara, arguing that the mothers were crucial in shaping their sons’ habits and careers. Gray’s book has been described as a “terrific and insightful double biography.”