Sunday, February 28, 2016

540 (2016 #6). America's First Daughter

by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

It took me a long time to get through this historical fiction advance reader edition.  Partly because it was very long - 584 pages.  Partly because, other than the title character, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph, important figures such as her father Thomas Jefferson, and his slave/mistress Sally Hemings, just did not quite come to life for me.  Nor did the era, although it was set in a time and place and about people who aren't the "usual" subjects of historical fiction.

I did learn a lot about the life of Patsy, who served as her widowed father's hostess for most of his years in the White House.  Authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie did a lot of research, and each chapter begins with a quote from one of many letters written by Jefferson and his family members Dray is self-described as an "author of historical fiction and fantasy", while Kamoie's experience is in romance (writing as Laura Kaye).  Jefferson himself, as well as Sally, remain enigmas.

I'm not quite sure of my opinion of this book.  To add the detail I think it needs to make it come alive would make it far too long.  Yet I am glad to have read it, as the main character is one I knew little about.  I'd be interested to read the authors' next book, which is about the wife of Alexander Hamilton, as well as Dray's other books.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[I received this advance reader edition through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  It will be passed on to someone else to enjoy.]

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