Dear George, Dear Mary
by Calvi, Mary

A debut novel based on hundreds of historical accounts, letters and personal journals reimagines the unrequited love affair between a young George Washington and controversial New York heiress Mary Philipse as a catalyst for the American Revolution.

MARY CALVI spent years wondering about the heiress who lived in the grand manor in her hometown of Yonkers, New York. Curiosity propelled her to do her own research that spanned several years. This novel is based on what she uncovered. Calvi is a nine-time New York Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as a New York television anchor and reporter. Mary is also First Lady of the city of Yonkers where she serves as a member of the board of Hudson River Museum. Dear George, Dear Mary is her first novel.

Long before the Revolutionary War-1756, to be precise-young George Washington is making a name for himself as a military leader in New York. He has no money or education, nothing but ambition and his good name, which he tends carefully. Broadcast journalist Calvi's first novel draws on public and personal documents to provide details not only on Washington's battles with the French and Indians and his skirmishes with his British superiors but also on his own high standards. To that end, a match with Mary Philipse, an heiress a few years older than him, seems perfect. He proposes; she accepts. But when George can't get leave, Mary's battle with depression resurfaces and makes her act in unpredictable ways. Calvi's portrait of Washington as an earnest young man striving for success but beleaguered on every front is convincing and, in a way, endearing. It is also a fascinating and unique look at pre-Revolutionary War society, with its misunderstandings and simmering resentments, and notable for the author's use of contemporaneous documents. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

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