PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleLouisa Catherine’s long years of living in the shadow of her husband’s career choices and of the Adams dynasty diminished her own image. Thomas rescues her subject by giving Louisa Catherine her own voice, but also by making this a love story. John Quincy thrived best with the support of Louisa Catherine. Given the harsh gender conventions of her era, she carved out a space where she shone as a wife, as a mother, a diplomatic consort, but also as an author of letters, poetry, translations and memoir. The nobody was a hero.
PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleBecause the narrative is closely based on their letters, the periods before the correspondence began in the later 1930s and after Roosevelt’s death in 1963, are foreshortened. The focus, and rightly so, is on the dynamic events of the mid-20th century, well told, well researched and a poignant portrait of two women who were heroes of the civil rights movement and the struggle for women’s equal rights.