AMERICA'S FIRST DAUGHTER by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
A compelling account of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, richly researched and spun by master storyteller Stephanie Dray ’93.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
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.
PRAISE FOR AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER
“Painstakingly researched, beautifully hewn, compulsively readable — this enlightening literary journey takes us from Monticello to revolutionary Paris to the Jefferson White House, revealing remarkable historical details, dark family secrets, and bringing to life the colorful cast of characters who conceived of our new nation. A must read.” (Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress)
“A delectable and poignant read, carefully paced and plotted with pitch perfect dialogue. It deftly draws on the volatile atmosphere of Jefferson’s time, recounting his daughter’s little-known story — a heroine tested to the limit, loaded with grit and determination. All the right chords are struck here. You’re going to want to read slow and savor this one. Bravo.” (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key)
“AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER is the story of a generation caught between the past and the future of a nation, and illuminates how the actions of one woman managed to sustain a family in spite of the consequences of both privilege and poverty. Not since GONE WITH THE WIND has a single volume family saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South.” (Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
STEPHANIE DRAY is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages, was nominated for a RITA and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf award. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Her work also explores the founding of the American Republic. It’s her mission to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today.