• Paperback: 624 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
(March 1, 2016)
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.
HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
As Thomas Jefferson's oldest daughter, Patsy Jefferson grows up in awe of her father and his political strides. Patsy follows him to Paris where Thomas Jefferson becomes the American Minister to France. In Paris, Patsy not only goes to Court and receives a worldly education, but gets to see the effects of politics in action and form her own opinions on slavery. She also becomes her father's protector and companion. As Patsy ages, she becomes her own woman, marries and makes her own choices as her father blazes an illustrious political career. When he passes, Patsy must choose how he will be remembered.
Using Thomas Jefferson's letters, the authors have created and engaging and very accurate portrayal of Thomas and Patsy Jefferson. I love learning about history through a woman's eyes, and Patsy's character does wonders for learning more about Patsy herself, Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemmings and even Abigail Adams. I was very intrigued about Thomas Jefferson's views of his own slaves, his relationship with Sally Hemmings and his relationship with his children. Patsy herself is a tremendous character which I loved to see grow, develop her own opinions and eventually fulfill the obligations as First Lady to her father. This is a longer book at almost 600 pages, so it is quite an epic read, but well worth it for any historical fiction lover.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Stephanie Dray is a bestselling and award-nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her work has been translated into six different languages, was nominated for RWA’s RITA Award, and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital.
Find out more about Stephanie at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Laura Kamoie has published two nonfiction books on early America and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction under the name Laura Kaye, the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books.
Find out more about Laura at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.