The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

America’s First Daughter

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I am very excited to share America’s First Daughter (A) by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie with you. I requested the book for review because it struck a chord with my historical fiction addiction. I couldn’t be more pleased with this fantastic novel written about the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha (Patsy) Jefferson Randolph.

This terrific book spans almost fifty years from the Revolutionary War to 1830. As Martha chronicles the life of her father while reviewing all his letters and publications soon after his death, she narrates the story of her family and the new republic of the United States.

The authors took some liberties with the telling but for the most part everything is well documented through the letters and essays. Some of the things I found the most amazing were the personal facts about Thomas Jefferson like the fact that he suffered terrible migraines that laid him low sometimes for weeks. The often-suggested fact that he had a slave mistress, Sally Hemmings was not ignored but explored pretty deeply.

Martha’s (Patsy) life was extremely interesting as well. She was her father’s confidante and savior many times during his life. She was the mother of ten children but also raised many nieces and nephews. Her husband was known to be extremely abusive both to her and her sons. Through it all she stayed loyal to the causes of liberty.

Often books that are 600 pages long are full of trivial facts and useless information. This is not the case here. In fact, I was left wanting more. My historical fiction addiction was definitely satisfied and I am sure if you love the genre as much as I do; you will devour American’s First Daughter too.

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