Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review: America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

When I first started this novel, I wondered how the life of the daughter of one of our founding fathers, and not the man himself, could possibly fill such a long book (over 600 pages). Sometimes authors like to take a lesser known relation of a historical figure and give them a voice but it just doesn't work out well because their life just isn't as interesting. I figured it would be all about Thomas Jefferson himself and his affair with his slave, Sally Hemmings, and when things like that are told from a third party perspective, it tends to be lacking. But while that was one of the sub plot lines, Martha Jefferson's own story was not lacking and no less fascinating than any novel on Thomas Jefferson himself could be. It's actually amazing how much the authors managed to fit into only 600-some pages.

The beginning was a little bit of a slow start, but the writing was excellent, and the character development is what really makes this book great. I did often wonder why Martha was so dedicated to a father who frankly could be rather selfish sometimes. I understand it had to do with losing her mother, but I couldn't help feeling like at some point enough should just be enough. That's not necessarily criticism though, I appreciated that Martha was a flawed character, it made her human. And not just Martha, but all the characters were so well formed, so complex, so believable, and so sympathetic. Combined with a surprisingly eventful plot, I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next and how the characters would handle it. So much had already happened in just first half of the book, and I knew there was so much more to come, it truly felt like something of an epic saga.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...