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Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers Paperback – December 26, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The setting changes from the cities of Philadelphia and Washington, to the pastoral farm and plantation lands these women called home. The action begins in Washington City on August 24, 1814. Dolley Madison gathers household goods, personal belongings and memorabilia from her past three predecessors into a rough cart. Forced to flee the city due to approaching British troops, she gives in to her staff's demands. Admiral Cockburn has pledged to parade James and Dolley Madison through the streets, shackled and fettered. Dolley's concern is for her "Jemmy," not herself. They plan to join one another safe in the countryside, far from the chaos of the Washington scene.
Hambly uses chronology to keep the reader focused on the happenings of the times about which she writes. In 1787, life at Mount Vernon Plantation in Fairfax, Virginia, centers on planning the next season's crops, tending to the gardens and sharing in the care of a family, complete with grandchildren. Martha's heartrate rises with the announcement of a visitor, James Madison. Since George retired from active military command after the revolt against England, Madison has been pressing him to become the new country's first President. George has refused, but now there is a new urgency in Madison's vocal thundering.Read more ›
Even though some of the skipping around may frustrate you a bit, I still highly recommend this book.
But overall, Hambly succeeds admirably.
That doesn't surprise me in the least. I've been reading Hambly's fiction for 20 years, and she is an absolute master (mistress??) of time, place, and setting. She does a great job of making you aware of what it feels like to _be there_, whether it's at the bedside of a sick child or an escape through revolutionary Paris.
This book also works because it's about a time period that most of us studied in American History in High School in a vague arm wave. "And after the American Revolution, there was some unrest, so Washington came back in 1789 to be our first president." Then it's a fast-forward to the war of 1812, without much attention to details. While, in a way, the process of living the "new dream" of liberty (not just creating it with a declaration of independence or fighting a war to gain it) is the more interesting tale. And we see it from these women's eyes.
But for me, what made the book enjoyable is that it's ultimately love stories. They aren't always happy love stories (and the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave/mistress Sally is presented as a tumultuous one), but these women actively stood by their men during difficult circumstances in a troubled time. I like to think of the devotion between the couples; it reminds me that they were just people doing what seemed right at the time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fictionalised look at four extraordinary women who helped shape this nation: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Sally Hemings, and Dolly Madison.
[... Read more
Hideous book about ‘four first ladies’, including Sally Hemings as a ‘first lady’. The author, Barbara Hambley, couldn’t be troubled to spell the three Lucys’ name correctly (the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kelly Joyce Neff
Why isn't there more books written about the American First Ladies and their lives?Published 16 months ago by joanne g. homer
A member of my book club highly recommended this book for our group, but I found it to be a big disappointment. Read morePublished on January 20, 2014 by Mike Cohen
This story was good but very confusing to follow. The switching back and forth of dates and of women kept getting me confused and I would have to go back a few pages to see what... Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Maureen Hillary
Her books do not feel like novels but more like biography with out Being boring. Her details make you feel like an observer. Her characters are vivid and three demensional. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by deborah tatro
It was very interesting reading about these ladies and their involvement with their husbands.....everyone knows about Abigail but the information about Martha was... Read morePublished on February 28, 2013 by Margaret Ann Hill
I haven't finished reading this book, but wanted to voice my objection to the comment about Thomas Jefferson being a benevolent slave owner. Read morePublished on October 15, 2012 by Irina