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 nation—or that she is to be “Lady Washington,” the woman at the first President’s 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 John’s journeys abroad. She will face the terror of an ocean crossing to join her husband in France—and write her own page in history. And there she will cross paths with kings, commoners—and 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 affair—although she will confront even greater trials as a President’s wife. But Dolley will become one of the best-loved ladies of the White House—and 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 nation’s future.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Patriot Hearts|
|Release Date: 01-30-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Patriot Hearts|
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Wednesday, August 24, 1814
Crowds started to gather outside the President's House not long after breakfast.
" 'Tis a good sign," remarked Dolley Madison, setting down her coffee-cup with a hand she hoped wasn't visibly shaking.
When they were girls together in Hanover County, Virginia, Dolley had always striven to live up to her friend Sophia Sparling's elegance, and Sophie, she observed now, almost forty years later, awaited news of the invasion with perfect calm.
Because she hath less to lose?
Or for some other reason entirely?
It was true that Sophie was only a dressmaker these days, and Dolley the wife of the President–the man whom the British commander had sworn to bring back to London in chains.
Jemmy Madison had ridden out in the black predawn cool, to join the militia camped by the Navy Yard. Since first light, Dolley had been at the window with her spyglass, watching the road from the Chesapeake shore.
Sophie half-turned from the parlor window, raised an eyebrow. Even in the thick summer heat she wore her usual widow's black. "They're waiting to see if you'll flee. Taking bets, I shouldn't wonder."
"Excellent." Dolley touched the coffee-pot's gay green-and-cream cheek with expert fingers, poured another half-cup for her friend while the brew was still warm. In spite of the grinding millstone of anxiety behind her breastbone, she made her voice light. "If enough people remain in the town to loiter about watching what I shall do, the British can't be all that near. When they flee–" She nodded tow