Title: Abigail Adams: First Lady of Faith and Courage
Author: Evelyn Witter
Series: Sower Series
Major Themes: Abigail Adams, John Adams, Biography, Christian Non-fiction, Colonial Era (US), American Revolution, US History 1783-1860
Synopsis: Abigail Adams tells the story of her life, her faith in God, and her support of her husband through everything he was called to do.
In our study of American History, we’re still working our way through the Revolutionary War period. Right now, we’re reading books about a lot of key people of the time, and one person we decided to read about was Abigail Adams, the wife of the second president of the United States. We had the choice of a number of books, but the only one we decided to read was Abigail Adams: First Lady of Faith and Courage. This book is in the Sower Series, from which I have not read all that many books. Of the ones I have read, I was not very impressed with the first one, but the others I have read have been good.
Abigail lived most of her life in Massachusetts. When she was born in 1744, no one expected the tiny, frail girl to survive—but she did! This book began with her fifth birthday party, during which Grandmother Quincy told the story of Abigail’s birth. The next few chapters told about her girlhood—some of what happened is quite exciting, such as gunpowder exploding in the meetinghouse. As she grew older, Abigail heard more and more discussion about politics, and changed from being a staunch supporter of the king to feeling as if the colonies should be free from England. She also met John Adams, and though he was a good many years older than she, they decided to marry.
John and Abigail soon had several little children. They loved their life in Braintree, but after a few years they moved to Boston where John, a lawyer, could find more work. Now, Abigail found herself in the middle of the tensions between the English and the colonists. During the Revolution, John had to go to Europe for several years to gain support for the colonists from France. After the war was over, Abigail went to join him. Later, of course, John became George Washington’s Vice-President, and then the President himself.
Abigail Adams: First Lady of Faith and Courage kept our attention all the way through. It is told in the first-person, from Abigail’s point of view, and there are frequent short quotes from her letters and diaries. Because these quotes are short, they don’t bog the story down. We liked watching events from Abigail’s point of view; the scene where they moved into the White House was particularly well-done. Yes, they were moving into a mansion, but…. Abigail’s faith in God shines through the entire story. I also appreciated the way she stood behind her husband and supported him in whatever he did, even if it meant inconvenience for her. There is never any hint that she complained about her circumstances. This book is well worth reading.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15