The wife of one president and the mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman in her own right. She experienced the gathering storm of the Revolutionary War and saw the battle of Bunker Hill from a hilltop near her home. Often separated from her husband John, Abigail wrote letters to him and to others constantly. Throughout the text, Abigail’s voice is heard through quotations from her letters.
Think of this biography as a portrait. Not the smooth, impassive painting reproduced on the jacket, but an intricate mosaic made of colorful bits of fact, emotion, period detail, and letters. Bober nudges readers to look beyond their twentieth-century expectations and become absorbed in another age. She creates a detailed eighteenth-century background showing Adams as the product of her times: an educated, intelligent, and capable woman in an age when the expectations and challenges of a woman’s role were different from what they are today, but no less complex.
Thorough research of this first-person resource gives Bober a comfortable familiarity with Abigail’s personality as well as her personal history, which is interwoven with the turbulent history of her times. Meticulous research and documentation give the book authority, good writing gives it clarity, and sympathetic understanding gives it humanity.