by Stephanie Dray
A powerful story set against the backdrop of American Revolution period, about the bonding of a father, Thomas Jefferson and his daughter, Martha a forgotten heroine from the pages of history.
Thomas Jefferson, the author of America’s Declaration of Independence, an active revolutionist during American Revolution and elected 3rd President of US. Man who believed in equality and equal rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all but himself continued with the slavery at Monticello.
Martha Jefferson(Patsy) Dutiful daughter of Thomas Jefferson and his real strength, very close to her father and his only legitimate child to have survived beyond the age of 25 years.
Story is construed from the thousands of letters written by Thomas Jefferson to his daughter and his other friends and allies. There is a beautiful blend of politics, history and fiction. I must mention that author of the book has done some fabulous research. Stephanie Dray has very beautifully and sincerely depicted different facets of Thomas Jefferson, his enigmatic political persona without trying to cover his flaws and mistakes.
Story revolves around Martha, extremely strong character, who brought her father back to sanity from the edge of madness and endless mourning after having lost wife. When Martha was a young child she had made promise to her dying mother to watch over her father and she stood by her promise throughout her life. She coaxed and soothed her father to come out his confinement when her own heart was ailing from her mother’s loss to death and father who had descended into madness. She traveled across the continents to remain by the side of her father, her hero, and together they withstood all their ordeals of politics.
Thomas Jefferson :
“…..my scheme of life had been determined. I’d folded myself in the arms of retirement, and rested all prospects of future happiness on domestic objects. A single event wiped away my plans and left me a blank I had not the spirit to fill”
“…… I turned and walked, more dead than alive, solitary and sad…………..I feel more fit for death than life. But the pleasures were worth the price I’m paying. Hope is sweeter than despair. ….”
I simply love the way Martha’s character emerges in the story as the strongest ally of Thomas Jefferson even in his silent sins, and how silently she sacrificed her private life, just to remain by her father’s side.
Although I must confess that initially I found the book quite lengthy but as the story progressed I just couldn’t keep the book down.
In all a Great Novel, about a forgotten heroine from the pages of history.
Happy Reading !!