Title: America's First Daughter
Authors: Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: March 1, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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."
My Two Cents:
Before reading "America's First Daughter," I did not know much about Patsy Jefferson other than she often acted as hostess when her father was the President as his wife had tragically died prior to his Presidency. As this book shows, she was a wholly interesting person by herself. This book covers from when she was very young until she had a family with grown children of her own. It has been such a treat to see more histfic set in America on the market and with great books like this, I am hopeful that this trend will continue!
Often in historical fiction, it seems that the action is centered around one or a few events. Rarely do we get to see such a wide swath of someone's life in a book. The danger for the author is that they won't show a character's growth throughout the book, which can make a book feel false! In this case, the authors' are able to show how Patsy grows and changes throughout the book so by the end, I felt like I really understood where she was coming from and wanted more!
Although Patsy's family had a lot of money and a lot of prestige, it certainly doesn't save her from a lot of the difficult things she faces as an adult which run everything from having a failing farm to losing a child. I really liked the way the authors treated all of these hurdles throughout the book. Patsy was certainly a resilient woman! I've said it before but I'll say it again - histfic is such a great introduction to subjects and people that I am not familiar with! This book is exciting, well paced, and held my attention thoroughly!
The historical detail in the book was fantastic. It's clear how much time and effort the authors put into researching and then adding those details to the book. They did a great job of building Patsy's world. I have a hankering to visit Monticello, Paris, and maybe some of the other places that Patsy sees throughout this book! This book is a treat!