Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington's First Love by Mary Calvi

Title: Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington's First Love
Author: Mary Calvi 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: February 19, 2019
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "Did unrequited love help spark a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution? Never before has this story about George Washington been told. Crafted from hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.

From elegant eighteenth-century society to bloody battlefields, the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters. Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness, using the very words he spoke and wrote, and his ravishing love, whose outward beauty and refinement disguise a complex inner struggle.

Dear George, Dear Mary reveals why George Washington had such bitter resentment toward the Brits, established nearly two decades before the American Revolution, and it unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that led Mary Philipse to be named a traitor, condemned to death and left with nothing. While that may sound like the end, ultimately both Mary and George achieve what they always wanted."

My Two Cents:

"Dear George, Dear Mary" is the story of George Washington and his first love, Mary Philipse. Usually we see George Washington as the war hero and the stoic President. We don't often to get to see him as a romantic figure. This book is an interesting take on why Washington was so involved with the American Revolution. Was it for country or was it for love?

I love when historical fiction can get you to see a different side of a famous historical figure like we do in this one with George Washington. Before reading this book, I had never even heard of Mary but I had heard a lot of George Washington. It was so interesting how the author brought both of these characters to life. The author packs in a lot of detail from historical letters and documents that really made the book come to life. There were a few places where it could have been streamlined but overall the detail was nice.

I did have some difficulty with suspension of disbelief in this book with regard to what pushes Washington towards the revolution. The story of his drivers and involvement is very well known. Perhaps love was a factor but it was not a singular factor and it was hard for me to buy in to that without forgetting the well known stories.



  1. New book for me. Thank you for the review.

  2. Seeing things from a different perspective can be very eye opening.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I had never heard of this love story and enjoy reading historical fiction, especially if it follows facts closely. I am reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis, about C.S Lewis and Joy Davidman, and that is a great novel.


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