America's First Daughter
Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
If you love history this is for you!
America’s First Daughter is the amazing tale of Patsy Jefferson, daughter of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Laura Kaomie and Stephanie Dray weave a compelling story of a little girl who wants to honor her mother by caring for her father. Thomas Jefferson grapples with the death of his beloved wife while his oldest daughter Patsy refuses to give up on her father, thus impacting the fate of nation. As her father expands his impact on American history, Patsy is by his side helping and influencing the choices he makes. Kaomie and Dray do a beautiful job of creating a balance between the history and the fiction, utilizing quotes from actual letters to set the stage for each chapter, of not only the book but of Patsy journey. The narrative is captivating and chilling from the very first section when Patsy and Sally deal with Jefferson’s death, as Patsy and Sally both grow into the history altering women they were meant to become, and then again later as Patsy sacrifices her wants for those of her father and country. Lovers of American history will love this beautiful story, lovers of strong women who worked within their societal boundaries to make a difference in their own way will love this beautiful story, and lovers of historical fiction will love this beautiful story. This reader is eagerly anticipating more from these two talented authors.
A highly recommended read!
Rich in history, this fictionalized version of the life of Martha (Patsy) Jefferson Randolph is an absorbing read in a front-row seat to history. I haven't been as absorbed in a book in a long while.
Over the top fabulous!
Have you ever loved a book so much that you couldn't walk away from it? Have you ever been torn to pieces when the story was over? What about that longing for more that you know won't ever come? All of that and more! I am a lover of historical fiction but have truthfully always been wary of anything that focused on American History. I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THIS BOOK! The authors surpassed everything that they could have sought to accomplish. Their impeccable judgement in showing us a viewpoint that many never considered is breathtaking. All the major historical events that one would expect are there but there is never any doubt about whose story this is. Patsy Jefferson's strength, intellect and resilience allow us to relate to a time that has been largely pushed to the side by modern writers and readers. Just remarkable!