Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, review

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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.


AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is BY FAR one of the best books I have read in a long time and  giving it only five stars seems like a travesty.  We are given a unique perspective of America’s early years through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha (Patsy) Jefferson and also through some of the many letters written by Jefferson himself.  Although this book is long, it was such a page turner I could scarcely put it down and devoured it in no time.  It’s the perfectly written novel and is everything that Historical Fiction should be – well researched, lyrical, and gripping with excellent character development.  From start to finish, it’s a true masterpiece of Historical Fiction.

With a story that takes us to Paris during the French Revolution and gives us a front row seat while the United States of America has a revolution of its own – and beyond – I give AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER five stars *****.  (And because I can, I’m giving it another five stars – how about five per author?)

*I received an advanced e-copy of this book from William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*


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