What I’m Reading: America’s First Daughter

I just finished listening to the audio book America’s First Daughter: A Novel by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.  The book was intriguing to me…historical, one of my favorite audio book narrators and about one of my favorite time periods, the American Revolution.

The story is about Thomas Jefferson’s, our third president’s daughter.

I have a relative that signed the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Huntington.  He was was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He also served as President of the Continental Congress from 1779 to 1781, President of the United States in Congress Assembled in 1781, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1784 to 1785, and the 18th Governor of Connecticut from 1786 until his death.

It always amazes me to think that he was here and a part of that historical time in our country.  Whenever I read any books from this time I can’t help but think he lived this.

I very much had those feelings as I listened to this book….Likely, my relative knew Patsy Jefferson, daughter of Thomas Jefferson who this book was written about.  Certainly Thomas Jefferson had a personal relationship with my relative.

All of this made listening to the book all the more better….but did I like the book??Yes.  I very much liked the book.

It’s easy to look back at that time and think “wasn’t it romantic”?  Boy, listening to this was a real eye opener.  Jefferson was not rich.  They did not live a carefree life.  Problems with medicine and childbirth plagued them.  Bad marriages assaulted them.  Patsy was a real fighter though and I loved that about her.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “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.”

As when I ever read historical fiction, I felt a little closer to the time period.  I felt like I understood it a little more.

Amazon readers give this book 4.6 stars.  I’d have to agree.  I would have given it more except I think a little more editing could have been done.  The book is LONG…624 pages.  About 3/4 of the way through I stopped to see if it was going to be over soon as it dragged just a bit….not bad.  Just a bit.  I think a little editing, like shaving off 50 pages, would have been perfect.

I will for sure be looking for more of these authors in the future.

5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: America’s First Daughter”

  1. This sounds very interesting. I never cared much for this period in history until I became older. Audio tapes are great:)

  2. Hi there, Jo;
    I am a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson. His mother was my great Aunt. Thomas Jefferson was my first cousin. I have been researching the family for the past two years. It has been a fascinating walk through history.
    Thank you for reviewing the book. I look forward to reading it.

    Take care.

  3. This book sounds interesting and I will add it to my “to read” list for 2017. I enjoy the history of this country and since I have been to The hermitage many times it will fit in well. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I love reading your book reviews. They have led me to many books that I would not have otherwise read. This book sounds like one I would really enjoy and it is amazing to think you actually had a relative that signed the Declaration of Independence. I was privileged to spend some time in and around Boston seeing some of the historical sights from the revolutionary times. I can’t begin to tell you how awe inspiring it was. We really have no clear idea of what a sacrifice the founders of our country made. It makes me sad as I think they would be so disappointed with the path our government has been on for so many years after they put in to place so many checks and balances to keep it from happening. Thank you for always being willing to share about the books that you listen to.

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