• Joan Fernandez

America’s First Daughter

By Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Unique dramatic front-seat to our nation’s history

This impressive biographical fiction, America’s First Daughter, tells the story of two revolutions, the American and French, through the eyes of Patsy Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter. Deeply researched, this retelling of Patsy’s life brings to light issues of slavery and freedom and gender roles as they were being wrestled with by revolutionaries. Political back-stabbing, the tug-of-war between family members, life as a woman in a man’s world – were all themes that gave this historical drama current relevance. I admired the structure of the book, which is divided into three sections for the three roles she played in her life (dutiful daughter, mistress of Monticello and founding mother). Finally, each chapter begins with a quote from an actual letter, which gave the story a ring of truth brought to light. However, what I loved best was the consistent emotional portrayal of Patsy’s fierce loyalty to her father, and how she idolized him as his daughter. It’s their relationship that is the core of this story and I loved exploring it.

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