We’re absolutely thrilled to share that our first co-authored historical fiction is out today! America’s First Daughter is the result of four years’ worth of research and writing and draws from our passion for early American history. It’s about Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, and the sacrifices she made, lies she told, and secrets she kept to protect her famous father. Here’s everything you need to know about our book, and don’t miss our release events, too!:
About America’s First Daughter:
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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Praise for America’s First Daughter
“America’s First Daughter brings a turbulent era to vivid life. All the conflicts and complexities of the Early Republic are mirrored in Patsy’s story. It’s breathlessly exciting and heartbreaking by turns-a personal and political page-turner.” (Donna Thorland, author of The Turncoat)
“Painstakingly researched, beautifully hewn, compulsively readable — this enlightening literary journey takes us from Monticello to revolutionary Paris to the Jefferson White House, revealing remarkable historical details, dark family secrets, and bringing to life the colorful cast of characters who conceived of our new nation. A must read.” (Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress)
“A delectable and poignant read, carefully paced and plotted with pitch perfect dialogue. It deftly draws on the volatile atmosphere of Jefferson’s time, recounting his daughter’s little-known story — a heroine tested to the limit, loaded with grit and determination. All the right chords are struck here. You’re going to want to read slow and savor this one. Bravo.” (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key)
“AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER is the story of a generation caught between the past and the future of a nation, and illuminates how the actions of one woman managed to sustain a family in spite of the consequences of both privilege and poverty. Not since GONE WITH THE WIND has a single volume family saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South.” (Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne)
“[A] triumphant, controversial, and fascinating plunge into the complexities of Revolutionary America, where women held power in subtle ways and men hid dangerous secrets. You’ll never look at Jefferson or his legacy the same way again.” (C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel)
“Fiction can go boldly where history treads warily. In this compelling, poignant novel, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie open the door into the heart of Martha Jefferson Randolph, the motherless daughter, long-suffering wife, devoted mother and passionate protector of her famous father’s lies, secrets, and silences. A remarkable and insightful achievement.” (Virginia Scharff, Distinguished Professor of History, University of New Mexico, author of The Women Jefferson Loved)
“Authors Dray and Kamoie have performed tireless research. Whether it’s detailing Patsy’s life as a debutante in Paris, where she dances with Lafayette and witnesses the first flickers of the French Revolution, or recounting the world of a Virginia plantation, they’ve done their homework.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“This is a stunning historical novel that will keep you up late, hoping the engaging story never ends. Highly, highly recommended!” (Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice)