I received a free ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 2.5 Stars
The book is best summed up in this way: Martha didn't want to be First Lady, Abigail was mad at everyone who didn't like her husband, and Dolley liked to party.
I wanted to like this one. I was stoked when I saw it on NetGalley, because I am just as interested in the First Ladies as I am in reading a biography of every president. Unfortunately this one fell short for me and was disappointing. The main issue I have is that it became so repetitive once we moved into the sections about Abigail and Dolley. This was especially problematic because Abigail was given the most coverage. Each woman was not showcased on her own, and their stories did entwine throughout but there is a point when enough is enough. I felt like we are constantly being told about Dolley being social. We get it, she was social. SHE WAS SOCIAL.
Now, I did only read an ARC and not the final copy. I know the book has been published now, but perhaps in a future edition the repetitiveness can be curbed so we can have a clear picture of the women in their time. On a positive note, the use of primary sources was fantastic and helped to really flesh out the women to help us understand how they fit into their roles and supported their husband and his politics.