American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt

American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt

by Stephanie Marie Thornton


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American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
CharlotteLynnsReviews 30 days ago
With each historical fiction I read I find myself looking for more. Stephanie Thornton has pulled me deeper into the historical world and I am loving all that I am learning about our history. Alice Roosevelt is someone who I knew very little about but I now find myself looking her up online and learning more about her. I love how even though the world frowned on Alice’s way of life. She lived life to the fullest and didn’t really worry about what the rest of the world would think. She used her knowledge of politics to further her causes and to make political pushes for a better world. Her determination and ability to hold her own in almost any situation made her a force to be reckoned with both personally and politically. American Princess tells the story of Alice but it also gives us a glimpse into life during the Roosevelt presidency and the world during that time. I liked that it wasn’t just set in the United States but also throughout the rest of the world bringing to the book a broader storyline. I learned so much about the world, the United States, and the presidency.
bookfan-mary 3 months ago
Alice Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman who had an untold influence on the history of our country. As a president’s daughter, another president’s (and first lady’s) cousin, the wife of a Speaker of the House and hostess of tony weekly salons, she seemed to be the definition of a Washington insider for over six decades. However, Alice felt like an outsider for as long as she could remember. American Princess sweeps the reader though the 20th century with Alice near the center of the action. Her adventures, scandals, friendships and romantic entanglements all tie back to her complicated relationship with her famous father. For me, the novel was emotionally draining. Alice endured so much heartache and the author made it easy to share in her pain. I both cheered for Alice and I cringed at her choices but ultimately I shed tears of happiness for how her story ends.
Bookoholiccafe 3 months ago
A pleasing Historical Fiction portraying Alice Roosevelt, I knew nothing of her and reading this book was like finding a new friend which I share lots of similar stories of success and great mistakes and adventure with. There is unique and profoundly touching means in Stephanie Thornton’s portrayal of Alice Roosevelt and her love hate relationship with Eleonore Roosevelt. The story is so detailed as if Alice has written her memoir. And my favorite part was when her father said:” Don’t ask questions. Just accept the gist”
JennaBookish 5 months ago
What better time to read this novel than now, during Women’s History Month? I’m a big historical fiction enthusiast, and I was so excited when I saw there was a novel about Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt coming out. Teddy Roosevelt once infamously said “I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice Roosevelt. I cannot possibly do both.” Alice was Theodore’s eldest child and his only child from his first wife, who died shortly after Alice’s birth. Grief-stricken, he sent Alice, whose face reminded him too much of her mother’s, away to live with an aunt for a few years. American Princess follows Alice from this tough beginning to the end of her long life. Thornton explains in the author’s note that she has tried to draw from sources such as Alice’s journal entries as much as possible, and I think she has done remarkable job of bringing Alice to life on the page. Alice was a magnet for scandal but an absolute delight to read about. She bristled at the constraints placed on her due to her status in society as well as her gender, and felt no qualms about scandalizing high society ladies by whipping out a cigarette or cutting her wedding cake with a sword from a nearby military aide. (True story.) But beneath all the swagger there is a vulnerable interior, which Thornton teases out in this novel. While they were close at the time of his death, Alice and her father struggled for years with a stilted, uncomfortable relationship. Thornton explores some of the romances of Alice’s life, but it was watching her come to terms with the alienation from her father at a young age and develop and loving relationship with him that was truly the highlight of the novel. When writing about a real figure’s life, it can be a struggle to make the story fit a nice narrative flow, but I felt that Thornton managed it very well here. American Princess is a must-read for avid fans of historical fiction featuring interesting and strong female characters! My thanks to Berkley Books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.
AnnaDee 6 months ago
Ms. Thornton's penchant for historical detail, her scrupulous research of the characters, and her remarkable ability to bring them together superbly relate the story of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, America's Princess. As a teenager in the White House and then as a married young woman, Alice's rebellious and mischievous escapades were well chronicled by an adoring press for an adoring public. Marrying Nick Longworth, a Congressman from Ohio who later became Speaker of the House, did not effect the smoothing of the edges that her father the President would have wished. She did, however, grow from envying those close to her father to becoming his staunch ally and unofficial political aide. Alice's relationship with her father was one of yearning for attention and affection that became one of father-daughter friendship and mutual respect. Through specific conversations with the many people in Alice's life, we come to know these people and their profound effects on her. Especially poignant is her connection to her father, Theodore Roosevelt. The portrait drawn of him for us through her eyes is first-hand, revealing and fascinating. In her youth, Alice was known as America's Princess. In maturity, she was known as Washington's other Monument, wielding power and influence in that town all her long life. It is a complete story, from beginning to end shedding light on one of America's most notable, enduring, and endearing countrymen (a term she would have no objection to, woman though she was!). Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher. I highly recommend.
SuperReaderChick 6 months ago
The feistiness of Alice Roosevelt was evident from the very first page of this magnificently written novel. I wanted to know more about her and hear all of her exciting stories and memories. The times in which she lived added to my fascination as I read on. She was a force to be reckoned with every step of the way, and Thornton was spot on with every thought and feeling. I had to stifle my laughter more than once. Alice's spunk was brilliantly blended with her vulnerabilities and need to be loved. The realness of her definitely helped to pull me into the story even more and had me emotionally invested in everything that was happening. It was very powerful. As she grew older and life appeared to shift from happy-go-lucky to being more on edge for loss, I ached for her and all of the traumas that she had to endure. And yet she did so with gusto and a thirst for life. Her uncanny ability to pick herself up and dust herself off over the years and situations was inspiring. This was truly a brilliant novel about an incredible woman from even more incredible times. All that she saw, conquered, and had the opportunity and strength to do was perfectly portayed in this novel. I am also still in awe of everyone that she had the chance to meet and on whom she worked her charms. I absolutely cannot wait for Thornton's next book, and I hope that Alice is able to make an appearance in it as well. I haven't gotten my fill of her wild ways just yet.
SL22268 6 months ago
Lovely Read! Thank you to Penguin Random House and the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. American Princess is a novel based on the life of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt. Before reading, I did a little research, and for her era, Alice was a bit on the scandalous side. Born to Alice Hathaway Lee and Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Alice was an only child, and her mother passed just 2 days after giving birth. Her father was so distraught, he gave little Alice to his sister to raise and he didn't come back into her life until a couple of years later. Teddy ended up marrying again, and he had 5 more children. As Alice grew up, she started to become rebellious. She smoked, drank, and stayed out late partying. She eventually became engaged to Nicholas Longworth who was on the other end of the political spectrum. During their marriage, they both carried on affairs, and she ended up becoming pregnant with another man's baby. Told from Alice's POV over the span of her lifetime, this book was an excellent read and I enjoyed learning more about Alice Roosevelt!
blonde_betty 6 months ago
The first daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth lived in and was married in the White House, was married to the Speaker of the House, the mistress to a senator, and referred to as the Other Washington Monument. She knew Presidents Taft, Harding, and Woodrow Wilson, was a cousin to Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, met Richard Nixon and Jack, Jackie and Bobby Kennedy and was introduced to Queen Elizabeth at the White House. She was a darling of the newspapers who chronicled her every misstep. She lived through The Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, the Vietnam conflict and saw the change from horse drawn carriages to automobiles. And she survived a philandering husband and the suicide of her only daughter. This is a strong and fascinating woman. I really liked Alice. Stephanie Thornton does a great job of bringing her character with her flaws and strengths to life. For anyone interested in US History or independent women this is a must read and one to be read again and again!
Anonymous 6 months ago
I was excited to read American Princess because Alice Roosevelt was not a historical figure I knew much about. I absolutely loved learning about this time period and seeing the world through Alice’s eyes, especially as she rolled up on the DC scene as a young woman looking to make waves. A beautiful story told over 96 years with enjoyable detail that left you rooting for Alice the whole way. Despite being more than 400 pages I read this in two days because I enjoyed her fearless spirit in pursuit of supporting her family, advocating for herself, and following her heart. The writing kept me turning the pages and left me sad to close the book when I reached the last page. I'm realizing how much I love realistic historical fiction, thanks to some recent titles, as well as American Princess. Can't wait to recommend this to my friends! Thank you to Berkley for letting me preview this read.
literarymuseVC 6 months ago
Alice Roosevelt, the first daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt, describes her story as a “precious lifetime of memories, mistakes, and triumphs…valiantly and strenuously lived.” Alice’s words are an apt description for this vivacious, saucy, iconoclastic, intelligent, and romantic woman who became as famous as her father. Alice’s childhood was probably what we called normal but was filled with sadness as her biological mother had died a few days after her birth and the Roosevelt family were not known for expressing effusive feelings. All Alice wanted was her father and stepmother’s love and approval which never seemed to appear. Later, Alice would realize why. Teddy Roosevelt again appears as a man who loved living life on the edge (like his daughter) and never sat still. Thoroughly entrenched in the domestic and foreign policies and strategies of his time, he obtains the love of Americans and becomes their President, taking up their causes and justice with fierce energy and determination. Alice, however, felt “provincial” and even compares herself to her cousin, Eleanor; a sense of rivalry between the cousins lasts for years. Eleanor is depicted not only as a social justice reformer but also as someone whose political actions had irrevocably negative results. Every page take the reader through the notable moments of American history, including Alice’s role in facilitating a peace treat between Russia and Japan, coping with WWI, the Depression, WWII and the highlights ranging up to 1970. In her teens and twenties, Alice relishes breaking rules and appalling proper society with her friends Cissy and Maggie, also known as the “Three Graces” but whom Alice called the “Three Hoydens.” A trip overseas to Asia becomes one of the most memorable events of her life, including a remarkable audience with Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, who gave Alice her beloved dog, Manchu. Her relationship with husband Nick Longthorne is deftly presented with its ups and downs, no small wonder when one realizes what kind of family Nick married into. Later, secret romances seem to rule their lives, but pain will eventually make this dynamic couple realize that consequences are not necessarily short-term. American Princess… is superb, exciting, and skillfully crafted historical fiction that will remain one of the most comprehensive fictional biographies of the Roosevelt family. This reviewer was delighted to meet Alice and will never forget her unique, delightful story. Enjoy a fabulous read!
marongm8 6 months ago
Historical Fiction is becoming a popular on demand topic for our patrons at the library and the Roosevelts are one of the most famous families in America. I also love a rebellious attitude that Alice had throughout the book in her childhood and as she got older becoming more heavily involved with politics. Knowing potential background stories of family members of famous presidents can become very interesting and is sure to spark the interest of our patrons and members of our library community as well. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
joansreviews 6 months ago
Stephanie Marie Thornton’s portrayal of the life of Alice Roosevelt Longworth is the book I’ve be waiting for. With the promotion of her father Teddy to President following the assassination of William McKinley, Alice Roosevelt is unleashed on the American public. She is rebellious, bold and unconventional. Refusing to be kept down by the expectations of society for women of her time, Alice forges a life for herself that takes her far beyond just the first daughter. From tragedy to triumph, Alice Roosevelt Longworth becomes a fixture in Washington D. C. society and politics. She was known as the “Other Washington Monument”. This is a splendidly-researched novel, giving the reader an engrossing story and an immersion into the lives of Alice and the other Roosevelts that make up our American history. A must read for historical fiction fans as well as fans of presidential history and the story of the Roosevelt dynasty. Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for the E-ARC.
Katie__B 6 months ago
4.5 stars This historical fiction novel about Alice Roosevelt was a real treat! I didn't know much about her prior to reading so quite a few things about her life surprised me. Definitely a fascinating woman. Alice Roosevelt is the oldest child of President Teddy Roosevelt and even in a town like Washington D.C. she manages to stand out. She marches to the beat of her own drummer and America can't help but want to follow her every move. She ends up falling for a playboy congressman, goes to battle with her political cousins, and deals with more than one family tragedy. Through the good times and the bad, she does things her way. The book covers Alice's life although not quite as much focus is given to her early childhood and the pre- White House years. The author inserted many historical facts throughout the book although she admits in the Author's Note a few minor things were made up or altered for storyline purposes. I have to say I was really surprised at the scandalous life Alice led. Even by today's standards there were some definite soap opera like things going on. She could come across as shallow at times but the fact she didn't always conform to society's standards was really an endearing quality. Loved reading this one and can't wait to seek out some nonfiction books about her life. Definitely check this one out if you are a fan of biographical historical fiction. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
Anonymous 18 days ago
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