Mount Vernon Love Story

( 44 )

Overview

In Mount Vernon Love Story ? famed suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark's long-out-of-print first novel ? the bestselling author reveals the flesh-and-blood man who became the "father of our country" in a story that is charming, insightful, and immensely entertaining.

Always a lover of history, Mary Higgins Clark wrote this extensively researched biographical novel and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, after the motto of George Washington's mother. Published in 1969, the book was ...

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Mount Vernon Love Story

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Overview

In Mount Vernon Love Story — famed suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark's long-out-of-print first novel — the bestselling author reveals the flesh-and-blood man who became the "father of our country" in a story that is charming, insightful, and immensely entertaining.

Always a lover of history, Mary Higgins Clark wrote this extensively researched biographical novel and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, after the motto of George Washington's mother. Published in 1969, the book was more recently discovered by a Washington family descendant and reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. Dispelling the widespread belief that although George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, he reserved his true love for Sally Carey Fairfax, his best friend's wife, Mary Higgins Clark describes the Washington marriage as one full of tenderness and passion, as a bond between two people who shared their lives — even the bitter hardship of a winter in Valley Forge — in every way. In this author's skilled hands, the history, the love, and the man come fully and dramatically alive.

Originally published as Aspire to the Heavens: A Portrait of George Washington

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1968, an unknown writer named Mary Higgins Clark published her first book, a historical novel called Aspire to the Heavens: A Portrait of George Washington. Although Higgins and readers were fond of the fiction, it went out of print, quickly becoming eclipsed by her more famous mystery novels. Widely sought by collectors (first editions fetch $200-$500), the romantic novel gained an almost mythic status among Mary Higgins Clark aficionados. Now retitled and returned to print, this touching love story will win the hearts of a new generation of readers.
Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens, this slim, muted historical romance is the long-out-of-print debut by America's reigning queen of suspense. As the quasi-biographical novel opens, George Washington is preparing to attend the inauguration of his successor, John Adams; Clark, employing inelegant but efficient transitional techniques (Adams's "rather flat nasal voice seemed to become more clipped and sharp-toned.... It became his mother's voice"), quickly moves the narrative back to George's boyhood. The temporal seesaw continues as she juxtaposes George's trials (his mean mother, his unrequited love for a friend's wife) and triumphs (his land acquisitions, his bravery in battle) with his reflections on the state of the union in the novel's 1797 present. But her focus remains on the domestic (a French and Indian ambush at the Monongahela River in 1755 is rendered with far less care and credibility than scenes of George's skill on the dance floor) and the emotional (George's "mantle of leadership" concerns him much less than the naughtiness of his stepson). What passes for a driving narrative force is George's slow transfer of affection from the beautiful, charismatic Sally Carey to the small, "pretty widow" Martha (known as Patsy) Custis he married, and then the growing bond between "my old man" and "my dearest Patsy." Though it can be argued that Clark's tale is neither sufficiently historical nor romantic and it's definitely "not a suspense story," as Clark allows in a brief prefatory note this is a light read that completists will devour, and that Clark's other fans may appreciate simply because it's a different bill of fare. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Clark launched her career in 1968 with this historical romance, published as Aspire to the Heavens. The plot follows George Washington as he exits the White House after his presidency. Clark is more interested in Washington the husband than the nation's leader, and this focuses on his sometimes bumpy marriage to Martha. Higgins has the Midas touch, so even though this isn't a thriller, fans will want to read it. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743448949
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/3/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 245,358
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

March 4, 1797

11:45 A.M.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It was a windswept, raw March morning and the city looked bleak and dreary as it shivered under the overcast sky. But the man who stood at the window of his study in the large house on Market Street didn't hear the rattling of the wind against the panes or even feel the persistent draft that penetrated between the window frame and sill. He was staring unseeingly into the street.

In his mind he was hundreds of miles away and just arriving at Mount Vernon. Eagerly he pictured the last few minutes of that journey. The carriage would gather speed as the horses galloped up the winding road. Then they'd round the bend and it would be there...the great house, gleaming and white in the afternoon sun.

For years he'd looked forward to that homecoming. Several times during severe illness he'd thought that he wouldn't live to enjoy Mount Vernon. But now the hour was at hand. Now he could go home.

He was a tall man who still carried himself impressively well. When he was twenty-six an Indian chief had exclaimed that he walked straighter than any brave in the tribe. At sixty-five he'd begun to bend forward a little like a giant tree that could no longer resist the battering force of the wind.

The width of his shoulders was still there, although the shoulders no longer suggested the agile strength that had once made him seem near godlike to an army. The long white hair was caught in a silk net at the nape of his neck. The black velvet suit and pearl-colored vest had become almost a uniform. The days of blues and scarlets were behind him.

He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't hear the light tap on the study door, nor did he note when the door opened. For a long moment Patsy stood surveying him intently. To her worried eyes he seemed weary and gaunt. But beneath the concern a current of joy rippled and danced through her. Her fears had been groundless! For eight years a persistent instinct had nagged her that something would happen to him...that he wouldn't live to go home with her...but she'd been wrong. Thank the dear, dear God, she'd been wrong.

She was a short woman. The gently rounded figure that had once made her seem doll-like had thickened into solid matronly lines. Still, she moved with a quick, light step and from under her morning cap silvery ringlets lined her forehead giving her a disarmingly youthful look. Long ago she'd explained to the man she was watching that even though her name was Martha, her father had dubbed her Patsy because he thought Martha too serious and weighty. Now this man was almost the only one left who called her Patsy.

She started across the room and went up to him. "Are you ready to go?" she asked. "It's getting late."

He turned quickly, looked puzzled for an instant, then wrenched himself back into the present. With a sheepish expression he reached for his black military hat and yellow kid gloves. "Indeed, after professing to have longed for this day, it would seem unfit to be tardy for my deliverance," he commented wryly. He pulled on his gloves then sighed, "It really is over, isn't it, Patsy?"

For a moment her expression became anxious. "You don't mind giving up, do you, my dear? You're surely not sorry that you didn't accept another term."

He put his hat under his arm and now his eyes twinkled. "My dear, if John Adams is as happy to enter this office as I am to leave it, he must be the happiest man in the world."

f0 Lightly he touched his lips to her cheek. "I won't be long," he told her, "and then if Lady Washington will not mind spending her afternoon with a private citizen..."

"I wish I were going with you now," she said.

He shook his head. "Since Mrs. Adams couldn't be here to watch John take the oath of office, your presence might point up her absence."

Then he was gone. His valet, Christopher, was waiting downstairs to open the front door. Usually Christopher said, "Good-bye, Mr. President," but now he only bowed. The words had trembled and died on his lips as he realized that he would never be saying them again. But after he closed the door behind the tall old gentleman, he whispered softly, "Good-bye, Mr. President."

The wind whipped around the wide-rimmed black hat. He raised his hand to steady it, then quickly braced himself and with a rapid stride started down the block. A small cluster of people were waiting on the street just beyond the grounds of the executive mansion. They bowed and he nodded to them. He heard their footsteps behind him as he turned in the direction of Federal Hall.

The full blast of the March gale pushed hard against him and he leaned forward slightly. He had a fleeting thought that he should have ordered the carriage, but it was a relatively short walk and there was something about going to this ceremony on foot that appealed to him. It was less obtrusive and he wanted to be unobtrusive now.

Maybe he needed this bit of solitude, too. One had to adjust to the end of the road as thoroughly as one adjusted to its beginning.

The beginning...In a way it seemed only yesterday that his mother had warned him about always dreaming and never accomplishing. But it wasn't yesterday. That was over fifty years ago when he was a lad of twelve or thirteen and back at Ferry Farm.

The coldness of the March air faded into the bleak chill of a forbidding parlor. The crunching of his boots became the tapping of his foot on the uncarpeted floorboards. The stark branches of the trees took on the appearance of the depressing furniture in his mother's home. He was absorbed in the memory of that home as he continued on the last walk he would ever take as President of the United States...

March, 1745

3 P.M.

Ferry Farm

His foot tapped against the floor as he sprawled uncomfortably on one of the stiff old chairs in the parlor at Ferry Farm. As always he'd had a time becoming absorbed in his book. There was something forbidding and uncomfortable about the spartanly furnished room, about the house itself.

He was a scant thirteen but had already decided that when he grew up, his home would be warm and welcoming. It would have fine papers on the walls and a marble chimney, papier-mâché on the ceilings and neat mahogany tables which could be joined together for company. George spent much time envisioning that home.

Sighing, he turned back to his reader. Once more he shifted, trying to find a comfortable position. There simply didn't seem to be room enough for his legs anymore — in the past year he'd gained three inches, was now nearly 6 feet 1 inch, and did not seem to be finished growing. Even his shoulders were pushing their way out of the plain shirting that his mother considered suitable garb.

His book that day was the Young Man's Companion. His favorite lines in it were:

Get what you get honestly.

Use what you get frugally.

That's the way to live comfortably

And die honorably.

The book slid from his lap. He would have a useful life. Long ago he'd promised his mother that he'd live up to her family's motto. Mary Ball Washington was a difficult woman to please, but that promise had pleased her and evoked one of her rare moments of tenderness.

George thought again of the story he'd heard of when his mother first came into this house as a bride. His father carried her over the threshold and the first thing her eye fell on was the family copy of Matthew Hale's Contemplations. The housekeeper had left the book open at the page that bore the signature of her husband's first wife.

Mary Washington said to her husband, "Put me down, please." Firmly she walked over to the book, picked up a pen, and wrote her own name, boldly and with flourishes. The new mistress was very much in charge from that day on.

George loved his mother but he didn't like her very much. Since his father's death when George was eleven he'd tried to be the man of the house for her, but Mary Washington allowed no smidgen of authority to be taken from her even by her own son. She took care of her brood, wrangled with the overseers who handled the vast lands her husband had left to her and the children, and carried a leather whip at her belt to ensure obedience from her offspring.

George had an uneasy conscience about the fact that he was much happier during his long visits to his half brothers Augustine and Lawrence. They lived on their own estates now. Lawrence on the Hunting Creek land that he'd renamed Mount Vernon, and Augustine on the Rappahannock Farm near Fredericksburg.

Both young men seemed to understand George's feelings because he was frequently invited to spend long periods of time with them. "And how is your good mother?" Lawrence would ask when George arrived. "The same?"

"The same," George would say, hoping that a wry note did not creep into his voice. He wished he could love his mother more. And then he'd forget her and settle into the comfortable atmosphere of his brothers' homes and families.

Now his mother stalked into the room. "Idle?" Her spare figure was even straighter than usual. The nostrils of her roman nose suggested a sniff...always a dangerous sign.

George sprang up. "No, madame. I have been reading my meditations." Lamely he pointed to the book which had slid unnoticed to the floor.

His mother picked it up. "It is not enough to read about how to live life, or to dream it. It is quite more important to do something about it. Are your chores finished?"

"Yes, Mother." He hesitated a moment. It was probably a dangerous time to bring up a sore subject but intense desire to know his mother's mind pushed him on. "And, Mother, have you given further thought to my going to sea?"

It was the wrong time. His mother's eyebrows, thick and well-shaped, drew into an almost unbroken line. "I see no need to think about it today. I have at least three years longer to give that subject my thoughts." She turned and stalked from the room.

She'd only been gone a moment when his sister Betty slipped in. "Is she vexed with you again?" Betty asked anxiously.

George smiled a welcome. Betty was only a year younger than he and they'd always been close. He wondered again how she had ever been their mother's daughter. Betty was pretty, gay, and lighthearted. She always had a light novel tucked in her workbasket. She never walked but seemed to dance across a room. Oddly, of all the children, she got along best with the mother.

She and George understood each other completely and shared dreams. Betty, too, had her own ideas about her future home. "I shall have the very grandest house in all Fredericksburg," she often said. "It shall be built just for me and have great beams and fine brass, a beautiful reception hall with lovely, lovely furnishings. And I shall be the mistress in the finest gowns from London. I'll have lots of company and be very gay all the time and not live like this." Whenever she got to that part of her dream, she would give a near sniff and look greatly like her mother.

Now she stood in front of her tall brother and looked at him adoringly.

George cupped her chin in his hand. "God help the young men in a year or two. No, little one, she isn't really vexed. She just wants to get vexed about something, so beware."

Betty giggled. "Well, if she goes to the kitchen, she'll have plenty of reason. Cook's new assistant has vastly overcooked the pork and cook is in a state."

George groaned. "Dinner should be a pleasant affair indeed. Thank God I'm off for Mount Vernon tomorrow."

Betty sighed. "I'm glad for you but how I shall miss you. You love Mount Vernon very much, don't you?"

George considered a moment. "Yes," he said. "Lawrence and Anne are so kind to me but it's more than that. That land...just the way the sun shines on it, or the snow blankets it in white. The way it looks in autumn when the great trees are losing their leaves. It's the joy of riding across the acres next door to Belvoir and visiting with the Fairfaxes. It's riding home again late, when evening shadows are touching the house and the sun is sinking and the Potomac is half dark, half gleaming. Yes, Betty, I truly love Mount Vernon."

March 4, 1797

11:55 A.M.

Philadelphia

The firing of the cannons brought him sharply back to the present. Of course, the cannons were being fired to signify the momentous event that was about to take place. For a moment he thought of the cannons that had purchased this moment — the ones that had shattered the silence of '74 and '75.

There was a great crowd outside the building of the Congress. It parted quickly to let him pass. He began to climb the steps. And then the applause began. It started tentatively, one single pair of hands clapping, then like a flash it swept through the assemblage.

The sound preceded him so that when he came in sight of the lower chamber of the House, the members were already on their feet. A burst of applause greeted his entrance. It rose in volume and pushed against the ceiling and walls of the great room. It mingled with the ovation which the people outside continued to offer.

He quickened his pace, anxious to reach his seat so that the tribute might end. "Not for me," he thought. Not today. But when he reached his place and stood there the tremendous sound didn't abate; it reached a crescendo then softened and died reluctantly.

Jefferson was the next to arrive. The President watched as the tall aristocratic figure made his way through the room. He was wearing a long blue frock coat and his even patrician features betrayed none of the turmoil that might well be expected of the Vice-president-elect.

They had often opposed each other in their views, so much so that Jefferson had resigned from the cabinet. But George eyed his old friend affectionately. He would not admit, even to himself, that much as he and Jefferson had differed in many ways, he could warm to the man far better than he could to John Adams.

He thought of the day in '76 when the messenger had come to his New York headquarters, bearing a copy of the Declaration of Independence. He'd opened it slowly. For months he'd been begging for a statement like this and fearing it would never come. Even after a year of conflict some members of Congress still talked about an eventual reunion with England. He'd tried to point out that armies must fight for a cause; they must have a goal. Independence was a mighty word. It made it possible for a man to put up with starvation and misery. It drove out fear. And still many of the lawmakers vacillated about making a final break with the mother country.

Finally he'd been promised that a formal document would be issued. In the hopelessness of that first New York campaign he waited for it and wondered just how weak and carefully hedged it would be. The news that Tom Jefferson was charged with the responsibility of writing it made him cautiously optimistic. Jefferson was young but he wrote with the bold pen of a dedicated man. Then when he read the Declaration and absorbed the full richness and power of it, the majesty and breathtaking vision of it, he exultantly ordered that it be proclaimed to all the troops. That evening he stood at the door of headquarters and watched the expressions on the men's faces as a booming voice cried: "When in the course of human events..."

A stirring in the chamber announced the fact that the President-elect had arrived. George knew that Adams had ordered a new coach-and-four for this day. He'd refused to let even Patsy make him comment on the fact, but had been content to remind her that they had had a new carriage at the beginning of the first term in New York.

Patsy had sniffed that there was something about Adams that made you fairly feel as though he should be riding in front with the groom. Again George declined to answer. In the secret recess of his soul he quite agreed. John was a powerful patriot with a brilliant mind, but there was something about the man's attitude toward himself, at once obsequious and resentful, that was curiously irritating.

Adams was wearing a handsome pearl-colored broadcloth suit. His sword gleamed at his waist. But his expression was as dour as ever. A pity Mrs. Adams could not be here, George thought. Only she seems to have the talent for putting John at ease.

Eight years before, Adams had been embarrassed when greeting George, who was to take the oath of the Presidency. Now once again he seemed embarrassed. His nod was nearer to a bow. He seemed too hasty to begin his Inaugural Address.

George settled back slightly in his chair. It was understandable, the man was nervous. He thought of his own first Inauguration. He remembered the crimson velvet cushion that had held the large leather-covered Bible...the cheers of the crowd...his own opening words: "No event could have filled me with greater anxiety than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order..." He'd wanted them to know that he entered the office aware that he might fail them. Had he failed them? He hoped not.

Years ago he'd sworn that he would do well.

Years ago.

Just suppose it had all worked out that he had been able to go to sea. How different his life might have been. Nearly fifty years ago he'd wanted a nautical career so desperately but his mother refused him her permission. He sighed deeply. Even now, like a learned response, the pulsing anger of that moment came back — the fury, the frustration, the sense of dead end. He leaned forward a bit but he wasn't hearing John Adams' address. The rather flat nasal voice seemed to become more clipped and sharp-toned...It became his mother's voice.

Copyright © 1968, 2002 by Mary Higgins Clark

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 44 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2010

    Interesting story on the First First Family

    On the heels of a summer trip to Valley Forge and Philadelphia, I was glad to stumble upon this book! This is a story, based in facts, about George Washington's early life, continuing through his presidency. I learned so much, while reading a pseudo-romance story!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mount Vernon Love Story

    Mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark details the love story and marriage of George and Martha Washington in Mount Vernon Love Story, the first novel written by the author. I really enjoyed the novelization of the Washington marriage through its ups and downs. Beginning in 1797 the Washington's are preparing to leave Philadelphia and the presidency for retirement at the couple's beloved Mount Vernon. The novel presents a series of flashbacks from George Washington's childhood to the early days of the Revolutionary War. Clark adds new perspective into the complex and loving relationship of two remarkable individuals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    Mr. Washington Goes to Mt. Vernon

    Having recently visited Mount Vernon on vacation, I was very interested to read 'Mount Vernon Love Story' by Mary Higgins Clark since I assumed it would lead into further insight of the relationship between George and Martha ('Patsy') Washington. Not only did it delve deeper into their relationship than was learned on the visit to their home, but it also provided a deeper insight into the history of the United States. The book's chapters alternate between the beginning of George and Martha's relationship and the end of his presidency. It's a very clever way of storytelling, and each chapter leads into the next with grace, bouncing between time. I must admit that this is the first book I've ever read by Mary Higgins Clark, so I am not familiar with her writing style. And I am sure that this book of history is quite different from her mystery books. It is her first book, however, and it shows. The love story in the title is more the love of Mount Vernon -- the home, the grounds, the idea of it, etc. -- than the love story between George and Martha Washington. It's about the growth of Mount Vernon and the love its owners and visitors had for it. And why they couldn't stop being excited returning to it day after day. Although I wasn't that drawn into the book and the romance between George and Martha, it was intriguing to learn some details about the Washingtons' lives. I especially enjoyed the chapter involving George introducing Martha to his domineering mother for the first time. Here, I felt drawn into the characters and loved the interaction between them. George tries to keep his temper in place over his mother's criticisms while Martha calms him down with her gentle touch. Unfortunately, this type of character development did not seem to continue through the rest of the book. It was definitely an enjoyable read, but I guess I was hoping for something more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2002

    Mount Vernon Love Story

    A compelling story of a love that is timeless, a love that gave meaning to life...for the first President of the United States! How unique! Provides a peek into the soul of a the reluctant warrior and President, a man who remained very deeply in love with his beloved 'Patsy' over the course of a lifetime. It is this kind of love that surpasses mere passion and transforms lives. Interesting enough, just finished reading Shade of the Maple by Kirk Martin, in which this same kind of lifelong, intimate love is portrayed. You'll have a new respect for George Washington!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

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    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Charming!

    What a charming way to write about George Washington. I am inclined now to review some U. S. History.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2005

    Great Book!

    This book was great, it gave me good sense of how George Washington lived his life to the fullest!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2004

    BORING

    I hate to be negative,but this was one of the most boring books, I have ever read. The author jumped back and forth between the past and present day. From one paragraph to the next,I didn't know if he was an adult or a child. I only finished it because I was on a plane ,and had nothing else to do. Don't waste your time on this poor book!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2003

    A Prominent Historian's Devotion To His Wife, An Underlying Tenderness For His Best Friend's Wife

    Everyone knows the brilliance that was George Washington, the man who founded freedom for America. But this book touches the humanitarian side of America¿s founding father, depicting him as a man who was not without weaknesses but possessed admirable virtues such as his zealous strength, his love for his family, his undying devotion to his wife Martha and even his keenness for dancing. And Martha `¿Patsy¿¿ Custis is the epitome of what a First Lady should be to the first president, always by his side, never admonishing. Truly the woman behind the successful man. It was rather shocking how a man such as Washington could have been raised by a mother who faulted and belittled his every action, but she must have also done something right because George Washington seemed to have ultimately `¿aspired to the heavens¿¿, a motto his mother inexorably guided her children with. This was my first Mary Higgins Clark book, and so it was rather fitting that I stumbled upon her first work. It did have the touch of someone who was attempting her primary writing experience. It did not contain the effortless fervour a renowned author would normally possess, but Mount Vernon was enjoyable enough. Washington¿s love for his wife was well depicted here. And the homecoming to Mount Vernon was poignant as we sensed the gripping dedication George possessed for this land, and the emotional longing for his two closest friends to have been there to welcome them, George William and the tantalising Sally Fairfax whom he was still besotted with, probably until his dying day. Any history buff with an interest in romance would find this book affecting and moving.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2003

    George was a husband first

    I enjoyed this short book very much. It helps to see George Washington as not just the 'father of our country' but as a loving husband. It made me yearn for a time when people blush and public displays of affection consist of holding hands or a kiss on the cheek.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2003

    ENJOYABLE READ FROM START TO FINISH

    I AM A HISTORY BUFF AND ALWAYS LOVE READING OF OUR NATIONS FOUNDING FATHERS. THIS NOVEL GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE PERSONAL LIVES AND RELATIONSHIP OF GEORGE AND PATSY (MARTHA).I ENJOYED FINALLY READING A PIECE THAT SHOWS WASHINGTON AS A FEELING HUMAN BEING WITH A PERSONALITY, INSTEAD OF A SOLEMN,STOIC HISTORICAL CHARACTER.EASY TO READ AND THE FLIPPING BACK AND FORTH KEPT THE NOVEL FRESH FOR ME.GREAT SUMMER OR WEEKEND READ!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2002

    Unsophisticated Writing Style with Lean Content

    This is an easy summer read. Not too offensive, but not very satisfying, either. It reads like a first effort, which it was. Too many details are left out, and the constant back and forth between Washington's youth and his last days as President become tiresome. You get a different, interesting picture of George and Patsy (Martha), and what life might have been like in their day, and with their immense wealth. I never thought about how many slaves he might have owned, but with 30,000 acres in his estate, he must have had tons. It would be more appropriate for 9th grade reading lists than adult book clubs. I would not recommend spending the money for a hardback.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    Different, But Awesome!!

    Mary Higgens Clark has done it again!! Although her normal is mystery, this story is just as capturing as her others. She makes history come alive, as she tells the story of our nations founding father, George Washington, and tells of his troubles and his triumphs. Overall it was a great read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    Mount Vernon Love Story

    A compelling story of a love that is timeless, a love that gave meaning to life...for the first President of the United States! How unique! Provides a peek into the soul of a the reluctant warrior and President, a man who remained very deeply in love with his beloved 'Patsy' over the course of a lifetime. It is this kind of love that surpasses mere passion and transforms lives. Interesting enough, just finished reading Shade of the Maple by Kirk Martin, in which this same kind of lifelong, intimate love is portrayed. You'll have a new respect for George Washington!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2002

    It was geat.

    It was my first book that I read about Washington. I found it very nice. I was never really interset in the history of our Presidents but after reading this book it has open up the history that we have. I do recommend this book. In my classes I have never really learned the lives of the Presidents but I am now interseted in to learn more about them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2002

    Entertaining, not necessarily factually informative

    Mount Vernon Love Story will be enjoyed by Washington fanatics and fans, but the casual reader may find themselves slightly lost if he or she is not familiar with Washington's specific adventures. Nevertheless, it is a delightful read that serves to encourage the uninformed to become interested in the facts. It portrays Washington in a light not usually shined on him by looking into his personal life.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent biography

    George Washington¿s father died when the future president was young. His mother was a harsh disciplinarian insuring George and his siblings behaved. George seemed to flee her whenever he could get away spending time at his half-brother¿s Mount Vernon home (yes ¿ that historical home). George¿s first love is Sally Fairfax and his chosen profession surveyor, but war seemed to be his destiny. First he fought (unsuccessfully) during the French and Indian War and then the American Revolution. <P>This biography uses Washington¿s retirement to Mount Vernon with his beloved Patsy (Martha¿s nickname) as a focal point for looking back over the lives of the first president and his spouse. The book concentrates on his personal life not his public life. Thus, readers see another side to Washington. Though opinions are interspersed throughout, mystery suspense thriller writer Mary Higgins Clark provides a strong insightful look at Washington and literally the first ¿First Lady¿ that historical readers will enjoy. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2002

    Absolutely Wonderful

    I needed to read a Mary Higgins Clark book for summer reading. I picked this one, since all her mystery books really didn't appeal to me. As a high school student, I couldn't of made a better choice. I found myself wanting more at the end. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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