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America's First Daughter: A Novel by [Dray, Stephanie, Kamoie, Laura]
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America's First Daughter: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 525 customer reviews

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Length: 624 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Painstakingly researched, beautifully hewn, compulsively readable -- this enlightening literary journey takes us from Monticello to revolutionary Paris to the Jefferson White House, revealing remarkable historical details, dark family secrets, and bringing to life the colorful cast of characters who conceived of our new nation. A must read." (Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress)

"A delectable and poignant read, carefully paced and plotted with pitch perfect dialogue. It deftly draws on the volatile atmosphere of Jefferson's time, recounting his daughter's little-known story -- a heroine tested to the limit, loaded with grit and determination. All the right chords are struck here. You're going to want to read slow and savor this one. Bravo." (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key)

"AMERICA'S FIRST DAUGHTER is the story of a generation caught between the past and the future of a nation, and illuminates how the actions of one woman managed to sustain a family in spite of the consequences of both privilege and poverty. Not since GONE WITH THE WIND has a single volume family saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South." (Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl and The House of Hawthorne)

"[A] triumphant, controversial, and fascinating plunge into the complexities of Revolutionary America, where women held power in subtle ways and men hid dangerous secrets. You'll never look at Jefferson or his legacy the same way again." (C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel)

"America's First Daughter brings a turbulent era to vivid life. All the conflicts and complexities of the Early Republic are mirrored in Patsy's story. It's breathlessly exciting and heartbreaking by turns-a personal and political page-turner." (Donna Thorland, author of The Turncoat)

"Fiction can go boldly where history treads warily. In this compelling, poignant novel, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie open the door into the heart of Martha Jefferson Randolph, the motherless daughter, long-suffering wife, devoted mother and passionate protector of her famous father's lies, secrets, and silences. A remarkable and insightful achievement." (Virginia Scharff, Distinguished Professor of History, University of New Mexico, author of The Women Jefferson Loved)

From the Author

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1714 KB
  • Print Length: 624 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ZP4KE70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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From the Manufacturer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on February 15, 2016
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know absolutely nothing about Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph. I don't even know that much about her father, President Thomas Jefferson. All I know is that once I finished this engrossing novel, I want to read more about her and her family. This is one of my favorite historical fiction novels of all time.

Patsy Jefferson is the eldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Having run from their plantation Monticello to hide from the British in the Revolutionary War, she grows up as not only as the daughter of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, she matures as the daughter of the third President of the United States. Growing up, she lost her mother at the age of 10; lived in Paris during her coming out years and experienced the revolutionary fervor there. She comes home and marries a distant cousin, Thomas Randolph. Even though she was constantly pregnant (she ended up giving birth to 11 children), managing her husband's plantations as well as her father's, she ended up being a pivotal part of Thomas Jefferson's life.

This is a long novel and if I could, I would have sat in my chair and read for hours. This story simply pulled you into Patsy's life, turmoil, world ... it gives a personal flair to a woman I have never heard of. It does touch upon the sticky issues of slavery, Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemmings and Patsy's own relationship with Sally as well as with other people. It is a reminder for those of us who like to think in terms of history being black and white, that there are a lot more issues that surround the times and nothing is ever so easy as we'd like to believe. The authors have navigated through some of the thorny issues with a fine touch by bringing a personal touch to it.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I knew a bit about Thomas Jefferson's family, including his daughter Patsy, but this well-researched novel brought her to life. The eldest of three daughters, Patsy was the one who stood by his side through his long career in public service, culminating in the presidency in the early 1800s. Patsy's mother, who died when her eldest was 10, made her promise to always take care of her father, and Patsy did, sometimes to her detriment.

The novel starts with Patsy as a child as her family flees Monticello as British troops approach in the waning days of the Revolutionary War. It follows her to Paris not long after, where she accompanies her father, who is the fledgling nation's representative in France. Patsy grows up quickly amid the decadent French court and the stirrings of revolution. She finds, and then loses, her first love. After her return to Virginia, she marries a member of the illustrious Randolph family, whose members aren't known for their kindness or integrity.

Through it all, she is there for her father as he travels back and forth from Washington City -- later D.C. -- serving a variety of roles before running for president and serving two terms.

Woven through the narrative is Jefferson's relationship with the beautiful slave Sally Hemings, believed to be the half-sister of Jefferson's late wife and bearing a strong resemblance to her. Over the years, Sally bears him several children. Their attachment is an open secret that results in scandal brewed by Jefferson's political opponents.

This is a long book -- almost 600 pages -- but I raced through it. The writing is straightforward and Patsy's voice is strong. She was a witness to, and sometimes a participant in, the history of the nation, but that didn't protect her from tragedy.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
‘America’s First Daughter’ is an historical novel that has been well researched. There are quotes from letters and primary resources. The majority of the storyline is taken from factual incidents. It is all told from ‘Patsy'- Jefferson’s daughter’s viewpoint. It would have been of additional interest if more clues to her age would have been included at various times as the novel takes us from 1781 to 1830. There is no hint given how Jefferson had copies of letters he had written, there could have been mention of his polygraph- where one pen moved another and made a copy of what he was writing therefore giving Martha the copies she reads after Jefferson’s death.

This book is an extraordinary journey in many ways, not only does it give one a picture of Martha Patsy Jefferson Randolph, but of Jefferson, Sally Hemings and so many other historic characters. The culture and society of the time is well described; but more than that the emotions of these personalities draw one into their lives.

Martha Jefferson did not lead an easy life and one can learn that the planter classes of Virginia did not have an existence of ease and leisure. Martha-Patsy endures trials and tribulations but her loyalty to her family shines through her problems. One might assume that her time as the daughter of Jefferson as minister to France and his status as an historical icon would have given her a lifetime of glory and happiness. Instead we see a hard life which gives a reader a more realistic view.
Even though the pages are filled tears and fears and financial hardships amongst the new dresses and political gatherings and family love, all is so well written that we feel as if we really know this young girl as she grows into an older respected lady and with that we come to understand more of Jefferson and Monticello than we did before.
Those who love history and of course Jefferson will wish to read this deeply detailed and remarkable story of his family.
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