I read America’s First Daughter while on our D.C. trip and absolutely LOVED it! It is the best book I have read in recent memory. In fact, I usually pass along any books I purchase to a friend but this one I could only loan to Mother because I want to read it again. There were so many fantastic details that I want to be sure I didn’t miss a thing.
The fact that I read this book while touring D.C. and the surrounding areas made it even more exciting – I read about Jefferson at night and then heard stories about him on a tour the next day. This wasn’t entirely by design but I am so pleased that it worked out that way :-).
I fell in love with Patsy Jefferson and, while this book is historical fiction, have no doubt about the influence she had and role she played in the founding of our country. I was also so surprised by the struggles she faced in her marriage, at home and financially. I, of course, also loved reading about Thomas Jefferson and learning more about his personal life, views and struggles.
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 like historical fiction or have any interest at all in our founding fathers, you must read this one. The only regret I have from our trip is that we did not get to visit Monticello. That is now on my bucket list and I welcome any ideas on what else we could loop in with a trip to do that. I doubt we can get there in the next year but I want to see it now more than ever before!
I would love to know what is on YOUR bedside these days! I’m reading Alias Grace.
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DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED