Julie Fenster's historical novel, Jefferson's American, The President, The Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation, is a gem for lover's of American history. I have studied and read many historical novels, both non-fiction, and fiction, but Fenster's novel is a rare jewel in the treasure trove of historical non-fiction.
Fenster covered the expansion of the American west through the efforts of President Thomas Jefferson and the explorers he employed. Many know the story of Lewis and Clark and the westward expansion, but Fenster writes about many more who were elemental in creating the American expansion into the western part of the continent: teams including William Dunbar, Zebulon Pike, George Hunter, Peter Custis and Thomas Freeman. Not only did these men brave the perils of surveying and making maps of the westward frontier but they also were charged with reporting to Jefferson their discoveries as they journeyed across the lands rife with many challenges and foreign adversaries. There was the Spanish Army, trying to protect their investments, and other obstacles in the way of progress. Yet the men prevailed to uphold Jefferson's investment in the Louisiana Purchase and the United States expansion into the western areas.
Fenster does a remarkable job of telling the historical narrative in a way that is compelling and informative. The reader is not only learning about the finesse of Jefferson's America and his time prior and including his presidency, but also the reader enjoys a very readable text that is pure entertainment all by itself.
I heartily encourage anyone who enjoys learning about American history to read Fenster's Jefferson's America. It is a quite enjoyable and informative read.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review
- The written word has always been a joy for me. I can not remember a time in my life when I did not have books. Before I was able to read them, my mother read books to me. As soon as I could read independently I was never without a book in my hands or very nearby. As years passed, writing developed into a passion for me as well. I tried novel writing while home with my two children during their early years and was challenged to focus on the craft. I never gave up the love even when I had to give up the pursuit. Now, with grown children and the fact I am sitting on the other side of fifty I can pursue my dream of writing. I have continued the reading quest but now the writing is attainable as well.