Monday, June 2, 2008

Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser

About the Book: It has been said that without George Washington there would be no United States. But without Martha, there would be no George Washington. He called her "my other self."

Who was this woman who captured the heart of our country's founder? She dreams of a quiet life with her beloved George, but war looms...

Though still a young woman, Martha Dandridge Custis was a wealthy, attractive widow and the mother of two small children with no desire to remarry. But when a striking war hero steps into her life, she realizes that she is ready to love again. She is courted by, then marries the French and Indian War hero.

Yet she wonders whether this man, accustomed to courageous military exploits, can settle down to a simple life of farming and being a father to her children. Even as she longs for domestic bliss, Martha soon realizes she will have to risk everything dear to her and find the courage to get behind a dream much larger than her own.

Her new life as Martha Washington took her through blissful times at Mount Vernon, family tragedies, six years of her husband's absence during the Revolutionary War, and her position as a reluctant First Lady.

Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart and Jane Austen, in Washington's Lady, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the First First Lady of the United States.

My Review: I was really excited when this title was added to our list of books to review. I have really been enjoying this fictionalized true history sort of book lately, and thought this would be a fascinating look at an American icon.
This is definitely an enjoyable read. I think Moser really nails the language of this character...I would never talk this way, but it seems time period appropriate. Additionally, she manages to provide some humanity to the sort of constant struggles that were faced in the time period...a lot of death during this time and Martha Washington especially faced a lot of heartbreak. There were decisions she made that I couldn't understand at all and that maybe could have been explored with a little more depth (like not attending her son's wedding!) but overall, since most of her life from the time she lost her first husband to the time she lost George was covered, the book does a good job of picking the highlights.
She also brings to life the American Revolutionary times through the eyes of her character. We see the incredible sacrifice as seen by one person and hear the political talk as understood by Martha.
If you also enjoy this sort of fictionalized true history book, than definitely pick up Washington's Lady! It's a great look at a fascinating character in time.

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