America's First Daughter

America's First Daughter

by Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie

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In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062347275
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 2,791
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

Laura Kamoie is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing fiction. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and two daughters.

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America's First Daughter: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down, hated for it to end. This novel made the venerable Thomas Jefferson a real man of flesh, bone, strength , and weaknesses. I'm still processing my feelings about Patsy, who must've been formidable in her own right. A woman of great strength but also subject to the human condition. This is a book that won't be easily forgotten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No words.....just read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never review books but this was completely compelling. If you are fascinated by our American history, this is a just read .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I bought this book I didn't realize it was nearly 600 pages! However, it was so interesting, engaging and well written I could not put it down. I wish I had read it before I visited Monticello a few years ago....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was really an exploration of Patsy's identity first as Thomas Jefferson's daughter but also as a woman, mother, slave owner etc. The story recognizes the complexities of her identity as well as the role she needed to play for everyone in her life and for the country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not want this book to end!! Loved the charcters, loved learning about this great family . Great historical fiction. An excellent read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a person who loves history, this just about right blending of history and fiction was chance to immerse myself and take a walk with Patsy Jefferson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read Beautifully written story wrirt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book. Imagine my surprise when I found myself immersed in such a rich life! I learned so much about the times and the people living at the start of our democracy.
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Mary_Jean_Adams More than 1 year ago
I love stories about America’s founding that aren’t centered around the founding fathers. (To read some history books, you’d think this country was founded by roughly 57 men all by themselves!) Granted, this one has Thomas Jefferson as a key figure, and I suppose in a way it is about him as his life is the vortex that determines the direction his daughter’s life takes, but the story being told from her point of view makes a big difference. It’s not about Jefferson the founding father, so much as it is about Jefferson the man. That said, I picked this one up with some trepidation. I realize Jefferson and others were just men and they had their share of faults – some much more than others. But I’m not crazy about the current trend of raking dead mens’ reputations through the mud. Honesty is okay. An agenda is not. It’s a fine line, I know. The authors did an excellent job of walking that line. Jefferson does not come off as a saint. Far from it. But nor does he come off as a an evil, self-centered man. He strikes me as a brilliant man who lived just a bit too much in his own head. (As much as I admire him as a writer, I’ve always said he’s the founding father I would probably have liked the least.) Laura Kamoie holds a PhD in early American history and that comes through. I recognized some of the scenes, such as Jefferson’s flight from the British, but there were scenes that I had never thought much about before. Reading such a vivid description really brought them to life. For critics that think this reads like a romance novel, it would be hard to tell a biography (even a semi-fictional one) of a young girl/woman that did not have at least some romantic elements to it. However, this story lacks several key ingredients such as a hero and a happy ending. (Not saying the ending is tragic, the ending just isn’t the happily ever after – or HEA – that is necessary in the romance genre.) So, even if you detest romance novels, so long as you love history, I think this is one that’s well worth adding to your TBR list. I have already added Laura and Stephanie’s follow up novel, My Dear Hamilton, to my TBR pile. (Talk about another guy who wasn’t a saint!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply one of, if not the best poignant, historical fiction I have ever read!! Thank you!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whar a magnificent mini-series this would make.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read in a long time. It was a learning experience also. Patsy Jefferson came to life & made her father more than real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really made history come alive!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GranbyLibraryBookClub More than 1 year ago
America's First Daughter is the story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter Martha, also known as “Patsy” Jefferson. This epic novel spans her entire life and showcases this strong willed and extremely loyal woman. Not only did she lead an interesting life of her own but she also played her part in the founding of the United States. The novel begins with the Jefferson's fleeing for their lives during the Revolutionary War, and continues taking you on enlightening adventures as you watch history unfold. From living in Paris just before the French Revolution, to having her father in Office, to the struggles of running a plantation, Patsy lived quite an extraordinary life. Clocking in at almost 600 words, this novel is long and some of our readers found it to be slow, while others found it riveting and enjoyable. Our group gave this book 4 1/2 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved that this story was about jeffersons daughter, more so than him i love historical fiction that portrays those that were the stand-bys, because they often have a story all of their own
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way the author stayed as close to the facts as possible. Great read and learned a lot. If we forget our past we're bound to reapt it.