The moment Martha Jefferson discovers that a few drops of Negro blood course through her aristocratic veins, she knows she will do anything to keep this terrible secret from her politically ambitious husband, Thomas.
When fire strikes Monticello, the resulting repairs to Thomas Jeffersons historic home reveal a human skeleton, and the questions begin. . . the when is easily discovered, but the who and the why weave a tantalizing mystery that is Monticellos dark secret.
In this well-researched novel, which successfully melds historical fact with an intriguing what if, we are led back in time to the gripping tale of two women, Martha Jefferson and Betty Hemings, mother of infamous Sally Hemings, both forgotten threads in the rich tapestry of Americas history. Nothing about them save their names has survived the centuries-- not a likeness nor a personal letter. We know both belonged to the same man, Thomas Jefferson, one through the vows of marriage and the other through the laws of slavery, and that both lived, dreamed and died in Virginia at a time in our new Nation when fact was more exciting than fiction.
Now, we can finally know and understand them as they might have been.