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An incredible read from start to finish. The authors sucked me in from page one and didn't let me go until the very end. I love the portrait that they painted of Martha Jefferson Randolph and the extraordinary era she lived in. From her youth in Paris, seeing the rise of the French Revolution, to her days as a wife and mother who also devoted herself to her sphinx-like father. An amazing read, worth every minute.
Martha (Patsy) Jefferson Randolph is a leisurely look of the daughter of America's third President Thomas Jefferson in the early years of the country. Pasty devoted her life to her father traveling to Paris, serving as First Lady for her father, and raising a large family at Monticello. A must read for historical fiction fans who want further information about on our greatest Founding Fathers.
Historical fiction about Thomas Jefferson and his daughter Martha (Patsy) as well as the entire family and the political times
America’s First Daughter is a fine specimen of historical fiction genre: superbly researched historic facts, artfully woven together events and people, and seamless delivery of the story. From the first page to the last, you can hear the clear and powerful voice of Martha (Patsy) Jefferson, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the United States of America and the author of The Declaration of Independence. It was hard to believe that the book is written by two authors: Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. Their literary symbiosis created a stunningly good book that has one voice, one story, and a sense of wholeness. Bravo!
The novel focuses primarily on Patsy Jefferson, yet there is naturally much attention and exposure given to Thomas Jefferson as well. There are plenty of moments where you may find yourself struggling to solve, alongside with characters, the many philosophical, psychological, and moral issues that come up in life. You will reflect on what it is really like to be a president’s daughter.
From Parisian balls to dish scrubbing, from being admired by the finest men in high class society to ending up with a drunkard husband, from having a loving mother and sisters to losing them, from having a role-model of a father to worrying sick about her father’s reputation, Patsy Jefferson, like a Statue of Liberty that came alive, with stone strong determination overcomes all obstacles and gracefully contributes another chapter to the history of America and its people. (Submitted by Mariya)
Behind every great man is a great woman, in this case one who was willing to put aside her personal life and wishes for those of her father, his career, and their country. While I knew Thomas Jefferson had lost his wife and chose to have his daughter fill in as social hostess at the White House , this well-researched book enlightened me about so many more roles that Patsy played here and abroad in Jefferson's career. Loved the book - learned more than I did in a semester's worth of history classes.
I love historical fiction and this book is no exception. Like they said at the end, there is a lot of conjecture, as the true story will never be known. I did appreciate the truths that were weaved in the story and truly felt the heartbreak of the deterioration of Patsy's marriage to a man that she obviously had grown to love, at least in this story. I also recommend the children's historical fiction account from the eyes of the Hemings children: Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
4 stars for this magnificent novel. I was held captive as I read it over the 4th of July week. It made me appreciate the sacrifices women make for their influential men. "Sons of Revolution FIGHT FOR LIBERTY. They give their blood, flesh, limbs, their very lives. But daughters.. .we sacrifice our eternal souls." The opening paragraph is a synopsis of the rest of the novel, for as the story continues, we see how Patsy Jefferson carried the burdens of her father and his entire family until it nearly broke her spirit. But she perseveres.
From an impetuous and blossoming teenager in Paris until the waning years of her life, we see a character who changes and matures and suffers hardships unimaginable by today's standards, yet her devotion to her famous father, despite the flaws she recognizes in him, never wanes. Due to its somewhat overly dramatized nature at times, I would give it 5 stars. But the historical details alone make it a worthy read, then add the authors' incredible character development and you have a memorable and beautiful story.
A book you could not put down. Having been to Monticello several times the story of Patsy and the love and dedication she devoted to her father was really brought to life in this book .
I loved this book, learned soooo much about the Founding Fathers, French Revolution,
daily living was so gruesomely hard, the day-to-day management of plantations run with slaves and challenges of those in the South who did not believe in slavery, no birth control, no antibiotics resulting in many childhood deaths and childbirth deaths. I with there were several more books that continued this true saga.
This is a fascinating read if you are interested in American history. Jefferson's life and the life of his family members will keep you reading until late in the night. One of the best I have read in many years.
Through extensive research and site visits, these two talented authors brought to life the story of Thomas Jefferson's daughter Patsy. I really enjoyed this work of biographical fiction. Patsy Jefferson had a long, eventful, and interesting life. Through her eyes, this novel skillfully explores both the good and bad of American history. Be sure to read the interview with the authors at the end about how their visits to Monticello and Tuckahoe inspired their writing. After reading this book, I'm inspired to visit these places in person as well to get an even better sense of the complex history.
A fascinating and extremely well documented novel for lovers of historical fiction !
The reader discovers Jefferson’s career in details but the focus is on his daughter
Patsy : her personality, accomplishments and influence within the family but also
within the political realm of the times . A very enjoyable way to learn about the revolution
and the making of a nation.
This was fantastic from start to finish. Patsy was a fascinating woman and I'm so glad that the authors took the time and effort to bring her back to life. This was obviously a well researched book and I appreciated how it did not shy away from some of the less glorious topics in American history. It is a hefty book, almost 600 pages, but I was amazed at how quick it read. A must read for anyone who loves rich historical novels!
This book is fabulous; it's gone right to the top of my all-time favorites! I've been to Monticello three times and have always been fascinated by Jefferson. Can't wait to read Dray's other books.