Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thomas Jefferson lives!

book jacket for Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me
What would Thomas Jefferson think about the United States of today?

Author Peter Boody gives us a chance to find out in his recent novel, Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me.

Retired history teacher Jack Arrowsmith meets Mr. Jefferson at Monticello one twilight while touring the estate. Jack's recently lost both his wife and son--one to illness, the other to accident--and is seeking solace in a place where the family had vacationed in happier times. At first Jack thinks he's encountered a fantastic historical re-enactor, but soon realizes that spirit of Thomas Jefferson himself has appeared.

Jack realizes that the only person he can tell about his discovery is his son's ex-girlfriend Rachel, a master's student in history at Columbia. Rachel is beautiful, with auburn hair, green eyes, pale mocha skin--and perhaps, Jack discovers later--is a direct descendant of Jefferson's slave Sally Hemmings.

Jack and Rachel return to Monticello and find Jefferson waiting for them. "Pray tell me, Mr Arrowsmith," he said, "these marvelous conveyances I've seen here on my hilltop, these painted coaches with the heavy material enclosing their spokeless wheels... To you travel in one yourself? They are magically self-propelled. Perhaps you can explain their operation to me."  So begins the ultimate roadtrip, as Rachel and Jack take Mr. Jefferson across America, filling him in on the history of the past 200 years, and winding up in New York.

Can Jefferson cope with the 21st century? More importantly, can Jack cope with Jefferson? What will be the outcome of the growing attraction between Jefferson and Rachel? Will Jack find closure from the loss of his family?

Author Boody has written a very clever book, providing Jefferson with a believable and authentic-sounding voice. Jefferson ponders technology and politics, while Jack and Rachel cope with the real difficulties of creating an identify for a ghost in corporeal form.

If you enjoy the unusual, with a blend of paranormal, time-travel, historical fiction, and literary quality, try Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me, by Peter Boody.

Interested in looking back at American History and times through Jefferson's eyes? Place a hold online, call The Urbana Free Library at 217-367-4405, or email your request to reference@tufl.info.

1 comment:

Peter Boody said...

THANK YOU Urbana staff for noticing my book and acquiring it, and THEN even recommending it to your readers. Novels are like needles in haystacks when it comes to finding readers for them. I am grateful you found it and enjoyed it.