I was delighted to receive a copy of Nancy Moser's latest book, Washington's Lady. In April when I taught the online research class for ACFW, Nancy graciously agreed to participate in the class by answering questions I posed to my favorite historical and suspense writers. Her answers piqued my curiosity about this book -- and the book did not disappoint!
When I read historical fiction, I am a stickler for the author getting it right -- especially if I know enough to know that they got it right. Nancy is a stickler for doing the research it takes to get it right...here's her own words:
Washington’s Lady was the first of my three historicals that required me to tell the story of the woman-of-history and the history around her. I couldn’t tell Martha’s story without telling the story of the Revolutionary War and the birth of this country. It was interesting stuff, to be sure, but how many battles could/should I mention? How much Stamp Act and Constitution information was essential, and how much was too much—or would read too much like a textbook rather than a novel? One determining factor is tied to the fact that my historical books are written in first person...In Martha’s case, information about battles had to be seen through her eyes. That helped pare down the history lesson. There is also the emotion-quotient. For instance, I did not include any of the presidential years in Washington’s Lady, mostly because Martha hated being the wife of the president and never changed her mind about that opinion. If I would have chosen to write eight years’ worth of scenes where Martha was disgruntled, that would have been boring (and annoying.) Instead I summed up those years in a later chapter, after they were over. If there’s no emotional impact of an event on a character, then it probably doesn’t need to be included, or perhaps only in passing.
I've always been fascinated by Martha Washington, and this novel does her justice. The book was so well written that I raced to the Fact or Fiction section in the back. There Nancy lays out what parts of the story are historical and where she deviated a bit. I LOVE THAT!
And because the book is written in first-person, the author had the extra challenge of writing in a voice that rang true for a 1700s woman. I found it so easy to believe that I was sitting across the table from Martha as she told me about her life. The characterization was rich and believable.
This book is a wonderful addition to anyone's library who loves well-written historical novels.
Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest.
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.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.