After making the pilgrimage to Compostela and giving birth to a son, Catherine LeVendeur is looking forward to an idyllic life at home in Paris. Yet her contentment is shattered when she and Edgar receive news from his family: Edgar's two oldest brothers have been ambushed and murdered, and he must return to Scotland to help avenge their deaths. At first, Edgar refuses to go, knowing what may await them in his war torn homeland. But Catherine believes in family loyalty and insists upon accompanying him with their baby.
Once in Scotland, Catherine is surprised to learn that Edger's family is not what she imagined: His father, Waldeve, is a cold tyrant, and his remaining siblings are distant and secretive. Separated from Edgar during their efforts to uncover the truth, Catherine is expelled from his family's care. She becomes a stranger in a strange land, searching for refuge in a country ravaged by civil war at the same time she searches for her husband. Yet she knows that any haven she finds will only be temporary until she answers this question: Who among Waldeve's enemies hates his passionately enough to destroy his whole family--including, she fears, his infant grandson?
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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.