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Review by Publishers Weekly

Posted by Roberta Grimes • November 07, 2013 • 0 Comment
Book Reviews

The following review of my book My Thomas appeared in Publishers Weekly:

Cast in the form of a diary written by Thomas Jefferson’s wife, Martha, Grimes’s first novel chronicles the years from their courtship in 1770 to her death in 1782. Atmospheric and richly detailed, with exact accounts of such contemporary activities as leaching dye and boiling soap, the novel captures the personalities of two extraordinary people and the tumult of the revolutionary war that consumed their lives. We view the conflict through the prism of Martha’s sharply perceptive mind; the maneuvers of the era’s famous men – George Washington, Patrick Henry and Benedict Arnold – form a well-integrated backdrop to her story. The novel also traces Martha’s evolution from a self-indulgent Southern belle to an outspoken young mother with radical social views; conversations with her slave Betty on the explosive subjects of emancipation and miscegenation are revealing of the complex relationship between white and black Americans in the 18th century. Thomas Jefferson’s steady rise as a lawyer, lawmaker and statesman takes second place here to his role as husband, father and lover, so shattered by his young wife’s death that he never remarried. The moving tale succeeds both as gripping historical saga and powerful love story. BOMC and QPB selections. – Publishers Weekly

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