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.
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