American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton: A Book Review

American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt
Author: Stephanie Marie Thornton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Pages: 448
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Alice may be the president's daughter, but she's nobody's darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves--oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

     But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it's no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument--and Alice intends to outlast them all.

    My Review: Alice Roosevelt is known as one of America’s most scandalous First Daughters. American Princess begins when Alice Roosevelt’s father, Teddy, becomes the President of America, and Alice moves into the White House. Alice defies to maintain a good reputation as a First Daughter and rebels against the social standards of her time. Alice falls instantly in love with a much older congressman and is determined to marry him at all costs. This novel chronicles Alice’s flagrant life including her famous feud with Eleanor Roosevelt and her turbulent marriage to Nicholas Longworth.

   Alice is a really appealing and charismatic figure. She is spoiled, rebellious, hot-headed, and determined to have her own way. This makes it hard on her parents because they can hardly control her. She defies the standards of what a good daughter of the President should be. Alice was very notorious. She would often smoke in public, chew gum, and loved to wear pants. She loves going to parties, driving fast in her car, and often hangs out with males unaccompanied. This made her a woman that loved to captivate and win America’s attention. However, Alice was at times very insecure and was a woman that wanted to be loved. Thus, Alice was an endearing character.

   Overall, this novel is about first love, persistence, and breaking society barriers. Except for Alice, I found the characters to be one-dimensional with not much character-growth. The pacing of the novel was very uneven. Some parts of the novel were slow while some were rushed. I would also have liked more development and focus on her later years rather than her early years. Still, this novel was very engrossing. It magically transports you to the Gilded Age where you get to meet famous historical figures like Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and even Empress Dowager Cixi! American Princess does a captivating job in bringing a remarkable woman to life. I recommend this novel to fans of The Kennedy Debutante, The American Duchess, and America’s First Daughter.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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