Passion, heartbreak, scandal and triumph. Abigail and John Adams endured it all. They may have lived 200 years ago but their marriage was as modern as any today. The wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail’s shrewd intelligence was the steel against which John Adams sharpened his ideas. She was his toughest critic and biggest supporter, the person whose opinion he valued above all others, yet when she badgered him to “remember the ladies” and give women the vote in the new Constitution, he refused.
She was furious. “All men are tyrants,” she retorted.
John and Abigail’s lives and times -- like ours -- were tumultuous, demanding and uncertain. Abigail’s concerns are as modern as any woman today—sacrificing for her family, maintaining a loving, faithful marriage despite temptations to shatter it, raising children in the face of dangers and pitfalls, and finding the money to make it all work.
Through years of sacrifice, separation, disappointment and agonizing loss, their love endured. Together, they helped to found a nation.
Paperback and E-book. Amazon site for A Love Like No Other
A finely shaded portrait of a first lady's yearnings and travails.
“Abigail Adams experiences abiding love but many challenges in her union with her husband, John, in this historical novel inspired by their letters.
The story begins with a flash-forward: Abigail is at the deathbed of her destitute, alcoholic adult son, Charles. The narrative then jumps to the late 1750s, introducing teenage Abigail Smith, more eager to read and discuss ideas than achieve perfect stitching, capturing the attention of an ambitious young lawyer named John Adams. The two marry in 1764, and Abigail is beset with child-rearing and managing the Massachusetts family farm while John drums up legal business and then becomes a key—and much traveling—figure in the American Revolution. They endure many separations, with John away for years in positions abroad, although Abigail eventually joins him in Paris and then London, bringing their daughter Nabby, who makes a terrible marriage choice. Abigail gains fame as John’s wife and forges a friendship with Thomas Jefferson but also suffers much heartbreak, including the toddler death of one daughter, the stillbirth of another, and the Smith curse of alcoholism that will claim Charles. Abigail also unsuccessfully argues for more rights for women in her political discussions with John. Still, Abigail realizes that John remains true to her (unlike her adulterous father) and important to the country. Following John’s tenure as U.S. president, the couple enjoy many years in retirement together in their Quincy, Massachusetts, home. While many readers (and TV viewers) may be familiar with the Adams saga, Robson (Woman in the Wheelhouse, 2016, etc.) offers an intriguing “herstory” perspective, given her focus on Abigail. The author makes Abigail’s tension while being stuck at home palpable, with her prime years spent in pregnancy and her famous plea to “remember the ladies” apparently ignored in her world, even by her loving husband. Abigail’s guilt over her parenting choices also strikes a sad and ever relevant chord. While some may wish for more color and details about John and other American Revolution figures, Robson offers a compelling, documentarylike snapshot of the real life of this legendary woman.
A finely shaded portrait of a first lady’s yearnings and travails.”
About the Author
Nancy Taylor Robson grew up sailing and building boats with her father on the Chesapeake Bay. Halfway through college and uncertain what degree to pursue, she moved to a flat in London, working as a charwoman and housepainter, and traveling. After a year of perhaps too much fun and somewhat scattered thought, she returned to the US and earned a degree in history. In her last year of college, she met and fell hook line and sinker for a former racing sailor who became a tugboat captain. At his behest, Robson went to work on coastal tugs first as cook/deckhand, then as licensed mate, until a month before the couple's first child was born. While she missed the adventure on water, she wanted to stay home with the children, a new adventure in itself. "It was frustrating but stretched me as a person in ways I would have had no idea about before experiencing it. And it was fun. Also, I wanted to be present for them. Whatever our kids might say about our shortcomings as parents, I don't think they'll ever doubt how much we love them." A freelance writer for such periodicals as House Beautiful, Yachting, Southern Living, Chespeake Bay Magazine and The Baltimore Sun, she also wrote Woman in the Wheelhouse (originally published in hardcover by Tidewater Publishing), the story of her six years as one of the very few female mariners in the country at the time. Her husband's work meant that he spent more time at sea than at home -- one reason Robson was fascinated with Abigail Adams's life and marriage. Another is that Robson wanted a partnership much like the Adamses: passionate, challenging, productive and mutually supportive. An avid gardener and cook, she is also a Master Gardener, essayist, and advocate for organic local food. Robson, who is still married to the tugboat captain who first won her heart, now lives in the country and grows many of the family's vegetables. Their daughter followed her father into the maritime (despite her mother's warnings) and is a second mate on a petroleum tanker in the Pacific. Their son avoided the maritime like the plague.