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Becoming Lady Washington by Bette Bolte: A Book Review

Becoming Lady Washington
Author: Bette Bolte

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Mystic Owl Publishing

Release Date: 2020

Pages: 416

Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review 

     My Review: It is often said that behind every famous man lies a great woman. In this biographical novel of Martha Washington, Mrs. Bolte proves that this is the case. Martha Custis is a young widow who is in search of a father figure for her children. She meets George Washington, a Southern plantation owner with a lavish estate. They marry and live peacefully until the American Revolution pulls her husband from her. When George Washington becomes the leader of America’s army, Martha rises overnight from obscurity to fame. Eventually, Martha Washington learns that destiny is taking her to the highest position in America as the President’s Wife.

The novel begins with Martha’s courtship to her first husband, Daniel Custis. Because of Daniel’s miserly father who was suspicious of her that she would be marrying his son for money, Martha used her cleverness and resourcefulness to persuade him to let her marry his son. The marriage between Martha and Daniel seemed a loving and happy relationship that was often marred by the tragedy of her children. When her husband dies, Martha is left a rich widow and can manage a happy estate.

Initially, Martha marries George Washington for convenience, but then she quickly learns to love him. When George enters the war of the American Revolution, she supports in both his military and later his political career. She is willing to support him in all his endeavors, even though she disagrees with them. Martha Washington endures many tragedies, but she manages to find her strength to support herself and her loved ones. Thus, Martha Washington is very strong, courageous, and admirable.

Overall, this novel is about loss, second chances, faith, and finding’s one’s inner strength. Martha Washington’s life was not easy, but through her courage and her willingness to support her husband, she managed to gain the admiration and respect of many famous figures of her day. I thought the author did an excellent job in characterization, especially in describing George Washington. George Washington was shown as a man who put his country first even above his own family. It is George’s devotion to his country that Martha liked best about him. The novel is also very meticulously researched and written with vivid detail. It stayed mostly true to facts and very few liberties were taken. There were a few times, especially when depicting battle scenes that happened off the pages, that I felt I was reading a textbook. Nevertheless, this was a very moving and enthralling read! This book is a must read for those that want to learn the stories of the women behind the Founding Fathers! I recommend this for fans of I, Eliza Hamilton, America’s First Daughter, and Patriot Hearts!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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