Popular historical novelist Moser (Mozart’s Sister; Just Jane) turns to Martha Custis Washington in an uncharacteristically slow, unimaginative tale. Moser opens with the death of Martha’s first husband and her subsequent marriage to George. When the Revolution commences, Martha is forced to flee Mount Vernon, and Loyalist newspapers claim that she has abandoned the Patriot cause. Moser, who cut her literary teeth on Christian fiction, depicts religious faith throughout: we see Martha attending church, offering up the occasional prayer, devotedly loving her husband and caring for her children. The description of the death of her daughter, Patsy, is especially moving. The novel focuses on the Washingtons’ early marriage and experiences during the war. After the Revolution ends, Moser briefly describes George’s election as president, and then fast-forwards 11 years to his death. Unfortunately, the novel lacks a real plot; there is no central conflict that demands resolution. The historical details—such as Lafayette’s joining the family as another son—are accurate enough, but Moser never fully plunges readers into an earlier world. (June) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
May 23, 2010
#17 Washington’s Lady
Jennifer from Snapshot recommended Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser to me a long time ago, which I had it sit on my nightstand for the past month and a half, and thought it was about time I read the book! I was quite intrigued by the Moser’s version of the Washingtons’ “behind the story” and though I was irritated by Martha character in the beginning of the book, she definitely grew on me as I turned the pages. I smiled and cried with her and grew to love and respect what she loved and respected. She was not a perfect mother, wife, woman or First Lady by any means but I must say that she was definitely what the history needed then.