Surprise I have a review! Also, a quick heads up. I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thomas Jefferson fathered three girls: two white and free, one black and a slave. This book about Martha, Maria, and Harriet tells the fascinating story of their very different lives at Monticello and beyond, as daughters of one of our most brilliant and complicated Founding Fathers.
What I Liked
I have to say I really enjoyed a few things about this book. I like how Kerrison was not afraid to talk about slavery and shedding light and discuss the practice. I know a lot of authors write about the founding fathers they tend to or at least used to skip this part because of various reasons. Not only did she discuss it she showcased it right from the start. As many say, you must study the mistakes of the past to not make them again, so I am glad the whole past is being shown. Another thing I liked was how she introduced this story. She starts off with an informative introduction, but she also went back a few generations to set the “stage”. Not only did she talk about the birth of Jefferson’s daughters with Martha, she also discusses the lineage of Harriet to show that they truly were family by blood and not just in one way. For me that really sent a message. I myself am very close with my family and if I had half sister I could never imagine owning them. It just sheds more light on the mentality and the madness of the whole system. Lastly, I really liked the fact that I learned things I have never heard before.
What I Didn’t Like
One thing I wish I had seen in this book, but may not be an issue in the final edition, is the fact that there is a bibliography, but there are no endnotes or foot notes to explain which facts are from which sources. If I were to research this topic more and look to this book for a direction, I will have a difficult time finding the document that is relevant.
Over all I thought this was a wonderful book. It was eye opening and genuinely learned from it. Even if you are not a lover of history, I would say this book is still worth the read. It deals with social norms of the time and it really leads you to reflect and think about how some individuals can be as great as to write the Declaration of Independence, but at the same time break his word and refuse to free his own children because that would not be acceptable. But, is also shows you that even if you have a sibling and the circumstances are a little different your lives could be very, very different. Lastly, this is a well done book, you can tell a lot of thought and research went into it.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018
List Price: $18.99 (Amazon.com)
Pages: 288 pages
3 thoughts on “REVIEW | Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison”
Thank you very much for your appreciative review! And yes, historians MUST indicate the sources of their information, so you will find my detailed endnotes about all my sources at the back of the finished edition. Happy Reading!
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Glad to hear it, have a wonderful day!