Book Review,  Books

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray

I love this book, America’s First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray.

Patsy Jefferson

The story, based on Martha “Patsy” Jefferson’s experience, of life with Thomas Jefferson is both enlightening and heartbreaking. Reading this well-researched historical novel has given me new insights and appreciation for the toll our independence from England took on not only the men who crafted the Declaration of Independence and other documents and who served in political positions, it gave me great empathy for the family members of those men.

Thomas Jefferson

The third President of the United States experienced much heartache and endured many trials. From losing people he loved to withstanding publish scrutiny that tarnished, and sometimes demolished, his reputation, this book is a peek into the private life of one of our founding fathers,

I really enjoyed reading this from the point of view of Patsy as she grew from a little girl into a woman with a family of her own.

Excellent Writing

The writing is superb. The author uses phrases and words typical of that time period and it made me feel like I was living in the late 1700s. There was enough romance, intrigue, and drama to keep me enthralled and eager to turn the next page. I was excited to sit down and read this book every day.

I highly recommend America’s First Daughter.

Here is the back cover copy:


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.

You can purchase it here.

Read my review of Paper Wishes.

Read my review of Out of My Mind.

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