America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the fictionalized story of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph, the oldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Drawing on the letters of Thomas Jefferson, authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie paint a wonderful, yet tragic picture of the life of Patsy Jefferson. From an early age, Patsy was Jefferson's constant companion. She was at his side when they had to flee Monticello at the end of the American Revolution, and she accompanied him to France where he was an Ambassador on the eve of the French Revolution. After returning to the United States, Patsy followed Jefferson to Washington City to play hostess and First Lady during his two terms as President. Patsy lived through a lot as Jefferson's daughter and it wasn't all good. Enduring heartache and abuse by her husband and handling Monticello as they struggled through near poverty, Patsy always showed strength and resilience.
I enjoyed this read, as I know little about this time period and about Jefferson's personal life. It is a very engaging, yet heartbreaking story. Patsy had to be quite a woman and hers is a story that should be shared as an important character in our nation's history.
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