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Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothersby Barbara Hambly
Synopses & Reviews
When Martha Dandridge Custis marries her second husband, George, she never suspects that the soft-spoken Virginia planter is destined to command the founding of a nationor that she is to be “Lady Washington,” the woman at the first Presidents side. Only a select inner circle of women will know the cost of sharing a beloved man with history . . . and each will draw strength from the unique treasure given to them by a doomed queen.
Seeing farm and family through each harsh New England season, Abigail Adams is sustained only by the fervent reunions stolen between Johns journeys abroad. She will face the terror of an ocean crossing to join her husband in Franceand write her own page in history. And there she will cross paths with kings, commonersand young Sally Hemings.
Just as Sally had grown from a clever child to a beautiful woman, so had her relationship with Thomas Jefferson grown from a friendship between slave and master to one entangled in the complexities of black and white, decorum and desire. It is a relationship that will leave Sally to face an agonizingly wrenching choice.
Dolley Madison, too, must live with the repercussions of a forbidden love affairalthough she will confront even greater trials as a Presidents wife. But Dolley will become one of the best-loved ladies of the White Houseand leave an extraordinary legacy of her own.
A lushly written novel that traces the marriages tested by the demands of love and loyalty, Patriot Hearts offers readers a dazzling glimpse behind the scenes of a revolution, from adversity and treachery to teatime strategies, as four magnificent women shape a nations future.
"Hambly (The Emancipator's Wife) showcases three wives and one concubine who kept the founding fathers happy at home and handled a gauntlet of crises with grace and fortitude. Martha Washington followed George to his Revolutionary War battlefield headquarters, used Southern hospitality to ease the political turf wars that dogged the nascent union and bolstered the charismatic general-turned-president as he united a squabbling nation. Formidable Abigail Adams could dissect the politics of the new republic and shoot the breeze about 'Voltaire, Cicero, and Plutarch' with her husband, John, but had to endure long absences from her beloved and her son Charley's early death. When the invading British set fire to the capital in 1814, charming Dolley Madison rescued important cabinet papers. Slave Sally Hemings suffered the jealousies of Patsy, master and lover Thomas Jefferson's daughter. This is less a dramatically tense novel than a set of discrete fictionalized portraits designed to give history's women their due. Though it's likely too slow for fans of Revolutionary War fiction and not steamy enough for historical romance buffs, it'll find a niche among readers of women's fiction." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Barbara Hambly is the author of The Emancipators Wife, a finalist for the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. She is also the author of Fever Season, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and seven acclaimed historical novels.
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