Here’s the set-up:
What if Thomas Jefferson returned to life, penniless, powerless, and without a single slave? What if he meets a beautiful mixed-race woman he takes to be Sally Hemings reborn?What if he lands in a psycho ward or meets the President — at an Independence Day citizenship ceremony at his own hilltop home, Monticello, no less?
“Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me” is a tale told by retired history teacher, Jack Arrowsmith, a man numbed by the deaths of his wife and son. It’s about his — and his late son’s girlfriend, Rachel Carter’s — adventures with the writer of the Declaration of Independence.
They meet the ghost of Jefferson at Monticello and, fighting off their panic, agree to take him off to see America.
A history grad student at Columbia, Rachel knows secrets about Jack’s son and wife that she decides Jack must know. They will turn his world upside down, just as Rachel’s world will be changed forever by her evolving relationship with Jefferson.
Dazzled by Rachel, Jefferson regains the vigor of his prime as the trio travels together. But what then?
For all its fast pace and humor, “Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me” is a story about hauntings and history. It’s about love and friendship, grief and loss, family secrets and America’s own denial of its past.
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“Upon receiving this book as a gift I was told by the presenter that it was one of the better books they had read this year. I couldn’t agree more. The story is moving, the characters are well developed and likable, even in their not-so-best moments. The author certainly humanized a pivotal American figure for me, even if it is the author’s take on his personality. It serves as a nice reminder that these men and women were human as well, for all our faults and talents. I would definitely recommend this book.”Here’s what another reader said: “I read your book in three sittings, which surely tells you that I couldn’t put it down. After the first chapter, I was hooked and when it ended, I wanted more. Your writing, especially your descriptions, is beautiful. Talk about using words precisely and effectively. I could see Charlottesville and Monticello and wanted to go back (especially to Fleurie, which must be new since my days). I also need to take that evening tour at Monticello. The dialogue was great, believable. Parts made me laugh. Your characters interested me, amazed me, surprised me, made me sad. I was fascinated by how you built the story, how the characters developed, how your imagination worked. I was intrigued by how much real history was there without any sense of a history lesson. And of course the Jefferson questions are irresistible. It was fun to read your book after having just read ‘The Hemingses of Monticello’ this winter. In short, WOW!!”
Praise from Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
Not everyone loves TJRM as much as Tweeter Roma Prindle did. But with its 4- and 5-star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I keep hoping more readers will discover this novel and find it a memorable book. It has aspects of fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction and time travel but it is not a genre book. Expect no bodice ripping vampires or sitcom plotting. I also did not want to do Jefferson-in-the-modern-day schtick: there were many opportunities for it, of course, but I avoided it, with a few exceptions. I wanted this to be a fun but serious tale with something to think about.
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