Monticello: A Daughter and Her Father; A Novel

Monticello: A Daughter and Her Father; A Novel

by Sally Cabot Gunning


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From the critically acclaimed author of The Widow's War comes a captivating work of literary historical fiction that explores the tenuous relationship between a brilliant and complex father and his devoted daughter—Thomas Jefferson and Martha Jefferson Randolph.

After the death of her beloved mother, Martha Jefferson spent five years abroad with her father, Thomas Jefferson, on his first diplomatic mission to France. Now, at seventeen, Jefferson’s bright, handsome eldest daughter is returning to the lush hills of the family’s beloved Virginia plantation, Monticello. While the large, beautiful estate is the same as she remembers, Martha has changed. The young girl that sailed to Europe is now a woman with a heart made heavy by a first love gone wrong.

The world around her has also become far more complicated than it once seemed. The doting father she idolized since childhood has begun to pull away. Moving back into political life, he has become distracted by the tumultuous fight for power and troubling new attachments. The home she adores depends on slavery, a practice Martha abhors. But Monticello is burdened by debt, and it cannot survive without the labor of her family’s slaves. The exotic distant cousin she is drawn to has a taste for dangerous passions, dark desires that will eventually compromise her own.

As her life becomes constrained by the demands of marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s increasing impoverishment, Martha yearns to find her way back to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062320445
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 521,447
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

A lifelong resident of New England, Sally Cabot Gunning has immersed herself in its history from a young age. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Satucket Novels—The Widow’s War, Bound, and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke—and, writing as Sally Cabot, the equally acclaimed Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard. She lives in Brewster, Massachusetts, with her husband, Tom.

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Monticello: A Daughter and Her Father; A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it and found it very thought provoking. The conflicted lifestyle of the author of the Declaration of Independence is looming throughout. Also the competition and jealousy exhibited by both Martha Jefferson Randolph and Sally Hemmings is evident throughout. The life of Martha Jefferson was extremely interesting. At times I was surprised at her attitudes and her struggle with the idea of freeing slaves and the actual daily reality of being dependent upon them. She doesn't seem to really understand and therefore chooses not to even acknowledge her father's and Sally's relationship. But this is the typical attitude of the women of the South. Her life is exposed as one of many complications surrounding her devotion to her father and her difficult marriage. She is portrayed as self reliant, intelligent and fierce however conflicted. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Monticello is a famous home that housed Thomas Jefferson and his family, it is still open to the public today and I am excited to visit it soon with my niece. When this book came up for review, I jumped at the chance! Martha Jefferson is her own being in history and as her place next to her father was important, I loved reading a book that focused on her and her family and the ups and downs of her life. I have read a few books about her, but they are told mostly of her time at the White House and always through the lens of being a daughter of a President, not her life as a wife, mother, slave and land owner and so on.