Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams, Louisa Thomas, 2016
Using quotes from Louisa’s letters, journals, and unpublished books, the biography gives us a behind-the-headlines look at what life was like in 1800s for an intelligent woman who, although married to a high ranking diplomat, president, and revered statesman, had few rights and no influence outside the domestic realm. In spite of ill health through much of her life, she lived a daring, passionate, and sensitive life, and her writings will endear her to wives, mothers, grandmothers, and feminists everywhere. You will marvel at her strength as she races across Europe from Russia to Paris in the midst of the napoleonic wars, traveling with just her young son and assorted servants; you will relate to her constant devotion to her sons, born after many miscarriages, and be amazed at how little she was involved in deciding where they would live and grow up. Her relationship with John Quincy Adams is the strongest current in the book, and it is as real, and as nuanced, filled with love and sometimes loathing, as any “modern” romance could be. A truly wonderful portrait of a woman.
– Yvonne, circulation