Lebanon County Reads
While the inaugural Lebanon County Reads campaign launched in 2018, planning for Lebanon County’s own community read campaign began a year prior. All six Lebanon County public libraries support the campaign which runs from mid-summer through late fall and culminates in the title selection’s author’s visit to Congregation Beth Israel in November. We hope you’ll read with us and check out the special events affiliated with the campaign!
We’re pleased to announce the inaugural Lebanon County Reads title selection is America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. We hope you’ll read with us this summer, Lebanon County!
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.
What people are saying about the title:
“Not since Gone With The Wind has a single volume family saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South.” — Erika Robuck, bestselling author
“Editor’s Pick! This is a stunning historical novel that will keep you up late. Highly, highly recommended!” — Historical Novel Society
The folks at Swatara Coffee Co. have designed a special frappe to tie in with this year’s Lebanon County Reads selection! The First Daughter Frappe is a chocolate peanut butter flavored confection that infuses European and Virginian flavors with Thomas Jefferson’s love of ice cream, and it’s available for purchase exclusively at Swatara Coffee Co. now through Fall. A small portion of the proceeds of sales of the First Daughter Frappe will be donated to Matthews Public Library.
Meet the authors of the 2018 Lebanon County Reads title!
STEPHANIE DRAY is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.
Visit Stephanie Dray online.
A Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today bestseller, LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Writing America’s First Daughter with co-author Stephanie Dray allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Laura is now working on a novel about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton with Stephanie Dray (William Morrow, early 2018).
Visit Laura Kamoie online.
Visit the authors’ joint home online.