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Monday, October 29, 2018

Dear George, Dear Mary...#BookReview

About the book:
A novel about heiress Mary Philipse's relationship with George Washington, based on historical accounts, letters, and personal journals by nine-time New York Emmy award-winning journalist Mary Calvi.

"Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted." --George Washington

Did unrequited love spark a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution? Never before has this story about George Washington been told. Crafted from hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.

From elegant eighteenth-century society to bloody battlefields, the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters. Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness, using the very words he spoke and wrote, and his ravishing love, whose outward beauty and refinement disguise a complex inner struggle.

Dear George, Dear Mary reveals why George Washington had such bitter resentment toward the Brits, established nearly two decades before the American Revolution, and it unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that led Mary Philipse to be named a traitor, condemned to death and left with nothing. While that may sound like the end, ultimately both Mary and George achieve what they always wanted.

I have long been fascinated by George Washington. So, naturally I was intrigued by the idea of Dear George, Dear Mary

Honestly, this was not a story I enjoyed and barely finished. I know that George Washington had relationships with women and feelings for at least one before and after his marriage to Martha. His relationship with Sally Fairfax is well known. However, I was unaware of the existence of Mary Philipse before reading this novel.

While I appreciate that the author did extensive research using historical accounts, letters and journals to create this fictionalized story, I have a difficult time believing that George's perceptions and hatred of the British all stemmed from a failed relationship. That just does not ring true for me.

I found the novel long on detail and short on story. There was too much he did something and she felt something. And, I struggled to find any sort of connection or empathy to these characters.

Ultimately though, I think that many readers of history and historical fiction will enjoy this story. And early reviews have many readers praising it. It just wasn't a good fit for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Mary Calvi on her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Read 10/18

* *
2/5 Stars

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