Washington’s Lady

Written by Nancy Moser
Review by Susan Higginbotham

In the summer of 1757, Martha Custis, a young widow with valuable landholdings in Virginia, has no shortage of eligible suitors from which to choose. It is Colonel George Washington, however, who soon claims her affection—and who will hold it for the rest of the couple’s long, eventful marriage.

Having known very little about Martha Washington, who narrates this novel, I found her story an absorbing one. As portrayed by Moser, the first woman to hold the title of First Lady was a shrewd businesswoman, a devoted and somewhat overindulgent mother, and a loving but by no means mindlessly obedient wife, whose support was essential to her husband’s success as a general and later as President. Moser tells her story with a palpable admiration for her subject and with occasional flashes of humor.

After reading this, I was interested enough in the historical Martha Washington to seek out a biography of her—always a high compliment to a novelist’s skill.