Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

america’s first daughter by stephanie dray and laura kamoie

biographical HISTORICAL FICTION, 587 PP

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie exposes slavery, secrets, and interracial relationships in nineteenth century Virginia, offering an inside look at the Thomas Jefferson’s presidency and diplomatic posts through the eyes of his daughter, Patsy, including his liaison with Sally Hemings. It’s the “upstairs” story, while The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, is the “downstairs” story of the women who work in the kitchen house of a tobacco plantation. I enjoyed both books for their research and emotional tugs of all the women portrayed in the books as they faced similar challenges dealing with family relationships, class and demands of running a household.

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related recommendation

Monticello, A Daughter and Her Father by Sally Cabot Gunning. Monticello is written in the third person narrative from Martha’s POV. America’s First Daughter is in the first person. Monticello picks up the story in 1789 when the Jeffersons return to Virginia from France. America’s First Daughter starts in 1781 closer to the time of Martha’s mother’s death.

Related Blog Post: The Writer, The Laborer

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