Wednesday, May 16

Audiobook Review: America's First Daughter

Author: Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie 
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Title: America's First Daughter
Genre: Historical Fiction & Romance
Pages: Audiobook
Published: March 1st 2016  
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

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.

This was one of the longest audiobooks I have listened too. It took me a while to get through it!

The story follows Patsy Jefferson who is the daughter of the famous Thomas Jefferson. We get to see the man and the forming of this nation through her eyes. We get to see this young lady grow in the shadow of her father. She may have been in the shadow, but she certainly grew into an impressive person herself. It was certainly a journey. 

I'll admit I knew close to nothing about her. I know some about her father, but not a lot. It was a fun. It was sad. It was a long journey for her and for us, the listeners/readers. 

Honestly...I don't know how the lady kept herself cool and collected. There were so many times I would've flown off the handles and given a piece of my mind. I would've cried and screamed and kicked. There were times I agree with her being collected...I would've tried (but probably failed) to be cool, but there were times she should've stood up and said something. Poor girl. Poor Thomas J. Poor William (even though he made me mad at one point). 

Yes, yes, I was team William. I did not trust Tom at the beginning and I was proven right again and again. Sighs.

So yes, there is a touch of romance in this, but I do not feel it takes away from the story. It felt very realistic. There is love in normal life and this felt like Patsy telling her grandbabies the story. There was a good balance between the romance, the drama, the story, and the characters. Perfectly balanced. A rare sight indeed especially with two authors writing this. 

The narration was done well. She was SUPER southern. Did early southern colonists have thick accents? I'll have to research that...maybe they did, but I feel it was way too thick. In my language class I took eons ago we talked about the colonists and they were different from the English, but overall so at that time period. I can see the accent forming into the 1800s, but during the war? Mmmm not sure. I could be COMPLETELY wrong. We did not go into much details about each colony. Just an overall look (and it has been years - so I could be forgetting). Other than that, I really enjoyed her! She made me hooked on the story right away. She really embodied all the characters when they spoke even the male characters. 

Overall, this was really good. I really enjoyed it! I highly recommend this for historical lovers. The audio was good, but I bet reading would be just as good! I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


Blodeuedd said...

Maybe she did the accent so that w would feel right at home

Melliane said...

that's why I don't do audio, it's too long

Carole Rae said...

B, LOL maybe!

Melliane, yess some books take too long on audio.

Anachronist said...

I still don't do audiobooks but an e-book could tempt me.

Carole Rae said...

Ana, I am still very picky and weary on audiobooks. loll It takes SO long. Luckily I have a long commute to work now...soooo it beats music somedays.