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America's First Daughter: A Novel

Unabridged Audio Book

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Cassandra Campbell

23 Hours 29 Minutes

HarperCollins Publishers

March 2016

Audio Book Summary

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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  • Suzanne

    I’m not sure what’s going on with Patsy and her Daddy obsession, but it’s not what I came for.

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  • Anonymous

    Really enjoyed the book!! Didn’t want it to end.

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  • K O.

    I loved this book. I really didn’t have knowledge of the Jefferson family. While I love history, I never focus on the family of our founding fathers. This book was a great insight to the Jefferson family. If anyone is looking for a little gem of a book, listen!

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  • Vivian T.

    This is a fabulous recounting of the history of a founding father/daughter & the conditions they endured.

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  • Anonymous

    By the end listening to the Randolph conversations was draining. Thomas' vitriol was acrid. This book left me with a variety of unanswered questions, but being it's focus was Martha, it's understandable not as much resolution was given to the hemings and the fullness of other characters. Interesting look into history all the same.

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  • Mary T.

    Fascinating story which has prompted me to research the "historic" from the "fiction". I'm hoping my research shows that Jefferson's daughters' adult life was much different that the brutality she experiences in the novel. Sally Hemmings plays an intricate role in the novel, as she indeed did in Jefferson's household and his life. Francesca

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  • Marie P.

    Has inspired me to watch and read more about Sally and the time period the book style and narator

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  • Sharon W

    Excellent book! Thoroughly enjoyed becoming acquainted with the Thomas Jefferson family through this fascinating account of their lives. Reader was excellent!

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  • Kimberly M

    Lots of history about a one of our founding fathers and his wonderful daughters. The story was very inserting to listen to. Just enjoyed it.

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  • Tiffany B

    Wonderful story. I enjoyed the narration as well.

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