Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Washington's Lady
by Nancy Moser

Reviewed by Melissa J. Carswell

"Nancy assumes the cloak of Martha Washington as if it was her own."

Washington’s Lady, following Nancy Moser’s other two historical fiction books, Just Jane and Mozart’s Sister, brings the names we read about in history books to real life. Breathing life into characters that were once just names we had to remember for tests, Nancy turns history into a story of romance that both captures and educates.

Writing from the first person, Nancy assumes the cloak of Martha Washington as if it was her own. Recounting the numbing grief she experiences as a young widow with children, the heart racing anticipation of a new romance, and the honest struggles of a woman who has to share her husband with an entire country, Martha’s story draws the reader in with its transparency and honesty.

Nancy did not cut Martha any slack when it came to telling her story just because she had the notable position of being our nation’s first, First Lady. Instead, with compassionate skill, we are drawn into the heart and mind of a woman who has experienced grief and loss one too many times, and as a result becomes, what we call in today’s world, “a control freak.” Not only that, she also becomes a doting mother, so intent on loving her remaining children that she misses the boat when it comes to deferring to her husband and disciplining her children.

Rather than painting Martha in a negative light however, Nancy takes known historical facts and sets them in the frame of Martha’s own thoughts and reasons. Thoughts and reasons that I daresay most women today can relate to and empathize with, in some form or another. In Washington’s Lady, Martha becomes one of us and no longer remains some vague, heroic name in history.

From her struggles with her body image to her reticence in her husband accepting the presidency to the regrets she struggles with later in life, the reader discovers that Martha was a woman just like us. This is what makes her story so real and memorable.

Nancy takes historical fact and weaves it into a story that is hard to put down. Even better, she separates fact from fiction in an appendix at the end of the book so the reader is certain of any facts they may have picked up in their reading.

As an avid reader of fiction, I have a rule – for every fiction I book I read, I must read one educational book. Some I enjoy. Others I don’t. History books usually fall under the non-so-enjoyable books for me to read. Thanks to Nancy I was able to kill two birds with one stone! Her historical fiction was as captivating as any good non-historical fiction book that I have ever read. Here’s hoping Nancy tackles more of the same kind of book in the future!

Melissa J. CarswellMelissa J. Carswell: Melissa is a Board Certified Christian Counselor. However, due to the appearance of a little bundle of Miracle in the past year, the counseling practice is now on indefinite hold. Instead, Melissa has entered the world of freelance writing from home. She is currently one of the content writers for TotallyHer.com (to be launched in September of 2008). Melissa has a passion for mentoring teen girls and young women and does so whenever possible. Her heart longing, along with her husband, is to use her education and credentials someday to have a home full of abandoned, abused, and terminally ill childen. They are still waiting for God's hand to unfold that particular chapter of their lives. When Melissa isn't changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking meals, mentoring the afore-mentioned young women, tending to her garden, being her husband's biggest fan, and soaking in every cuddly moment with her daughter, she reads and she writes. It is not unusual to see 2-3 books laying around the house at any given time and the hard drive to her computer houses several partially-written manuscripts to the secret dreamed-of-published books Melissa hopes for in the future. You can check out A Weak Rose here.