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Dear George, Dear Mary
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Calvi's debut skillfully depicts the ill-fated love story of a promising 24-year-old colonel named George Washington and Mary Eliza Philipse, a melancholy New York heiress. Even before meeting him at a ball in 1756, Mary already idolizes George, having read his journal in the newspapers. Mary believes herself cursed after losing, over time, her younger sister, father, and mother, and she fears that this curse will sully her happiness with George, with whom she makes an instant connection. Together they begin their courtship. George is assigned to lead the construction of a fort in Virginia, and during the 19 months he's separated from Mary, he's slandered in the press for "vice and debauchery," denied leave by his superiors, and given inadequate means to defend his post. He's written to Mary but hasn't heard back from her; Mary, meanwhile, rejects endless suitors while wondering why George hasn't written or visited. While Calvi's writing is flowery and rife with exposition (she's particularly clunky at interjecting excerpts from source material into George's thoughts), her narrative is affecting. Some 20 years pass before George and Mary reunite during the Revolutionary War and Mary discovers the truth about what kept them apart. The bittersweet ending is a fitting conclusion to a story that will appeal to readers of romance and historical fiction. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted." --George Washington Unrequited love might have sparked a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution. Never before has this story about George Washington been told. Crafted from hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.From elegant eighteenth-century society to bloody battlefields, the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters. Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness with his insecurities and his inspirations, using the very words he had spoken and written, and his ravishing love, whose outward beauty and refinement disguise madness.Dear George, Dear Mary unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that ultimately led Mary Philipse to named a traitor, condemned to death and left with nothing. While that may sound like the end, ultimately both Mary and George, achieve what they always wanted - freedom.
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