Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Thomas” as Want to Read:
My Thomas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Thomas

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are equal and all have a right to liberty, yet he kept in bondage numerous slaves, including his own wife's half brothers and half sisters. He was an aristocrat who early in his life came to champion the cause of the common man; he never much cared for public service, but he gave to it more than half his life. There were so many contradi ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 11th 1992 by Doubleday
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Serena Gulledge
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, while not as popular- or as controversial- as his relationship with Sally Hemings, gets its due with this book as told through Martha's point of view. She views Jefferson as only a wife can, so I found his portrayal in this book as a tad over-romanticized. I still enjoyed the book, and I'd recommend it to history fans.
Some of the founding fathers’ wives—sometimes called the “founding mothers”—were inspirational, even heroic. (See: Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison.) Some were pitiable and even tragic. (See: Patrick Henry’s first wife, Sarah.)

Martha Jefferson would probably fall into the latter category. Unfortunately, she left very little impression on the historical record. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, particularly when your husband is Thomas Jefferson.

That’s not to say her life didn’t matter, or th
My Thomas is author Grimes' own love letter to Thomas Jefferson, a man of strong convictions, principles and contradictions. Using the device of his wife Martha's private Journal, rescued by one of the Jefferson's slaves, Ms. Grimes puts a more human face on this eminent statesman in this First Reads giveaway I won.

Little is known about the actual Martha Jefferson because of her husband's penchant for destroying personal papers to preserve his privacy, but I'm not convinced that the Martha imag
M Strawberry Reviews
I definitely enjoyed this novel. I'm not sure whether to call this an biography or historical fiction. Given what a private man Thomas was and how little we know of Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (we don't even have a single painting of her) this book might be better termed as historical fiction, although it stars an actual historical figure.

Nonetheless, this is a good book and one that I enjoyed a lot. I think that Ms. Grimes did a nice job, giving how scant information about Mrs. Jefferson is
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Today most anyone knows that slavery is and always was wrong. But what if you were born in a world where it existed? Jefferson and his contemporaries honestly believed that they couldn't just get up one morning and tell the slaves they were free. Could the slaves survive without masters? Could the slave owners survive without the unpaid farm laborers and domestic servants? It was a conundrum. Leave today behind and pay a visit to the 1700's. You'll find that it was cold and muddy and primitive. ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating imagining of Thomas Jefferson's wife Martha's diary. Little is known about her or their relationship (Jefferson guarded her legacy closely and mourned her heavily), but Grimes had given readers an excellent guess at what Martha Jefferson would have been like. She seems like exactly the sort of woman Jefferson would have gone for: spirited, intelligent, beautiful, etc. This depiction of Martha made me able to imagine the extent of Jefferson's grief. Highly enjoyable and thoroughly ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Martha Wayles Skelton is a 22 year old widow when Thomas Jefferson comes in to her life. She had no intention of remarrying but fell deeply in love with her Thomas.

I was fascinated with many aspects of this story. The research was extraordinary. I particularly enjoyed the details of the clothing worn during this time period.

Thomas Jefferson was portrayed not only as a brilliant mind who loved his books, almost as much as his wife, but also as a kind man with a heart who cared and fought for the
Mary Robinson
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this imagining of the life and thoughts of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, Martha, whose story is told in the form of a diary. It was especially interesting to see how her thoughts about slavery evolved as she ages from a pampered Southern belle to a mature woman who finally sees the slave she grew up with, and who is really her best friend, as a full human being. It is frustrating not to know how much of this story can be supported by historical documentation. But it is interesting to read if ...more
I received this book from the goodreads-first-reads free giveaway. The format of the book was interesting but as I continued reading, it became a bit dull and boring. I think it would have been better to have some historical content or documentation surrounding the entries or to split into chapters. It is written in a 'diary' fashion and you get an idea of Martha attempting to describe Thomas in a positive light and also describe her emotions towards him but it becomes monotone.
Cook Memorial Public Library
Powerful love story as well as fascinating portrait of famous men of the era. Diary format from Martha, Thomas Jefferson’s young wife.

Recommended by staffer Connie.

Check our catalog: thomas grimes
Anna Marini
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend My Thomas. It is a terrific, well written historic novel; it contains little known historical information about Thomas and Martha Jefferson. Ms. Grimes command of the written word is beautiful and reminiscent of a modern-version Jane Austen style. Thomas and Martha Jefferson's love story is not to be missed. You won't be able to put it down!
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Good Novels
I quite enjoyed this novel at the time I read it - it is an imagination of the marriage between Thomas and Martha Jefferson. You can only surmise, given that all their letters to one another were destroyed, but this was written in an interesting and plausible way.
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a long and arduous book to read but in the end I truly did like it and it was a huge insight into the lives of Thomas Jefferson and his wife and the times in which they lived. Anyone who likes to read history brought to life would enjoy this book.
Caroline Johnson
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won this book from Goodreads. Fans of Historical Novels will love this. Very detailed writings from Martha Jefferson's diaries.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly uncheesy. If this book is to be believed, Martha was quite the spitfire and a bit of a sexpot. I should like to have been her friend.
Gennie Lancaster
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. It helped me to see Thomas and Martha Jefferson and their relationship in a different light. A little slow in some places but overall it was an enjoyable read.
Gail Bartels
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and will read some others by this author. I found the lives very interesting and was able to relate to the history of the time.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After taking a course on Thomas Jefferson, this book is an entertaining read that fits in very well to what I know to be true about this extremely complicated man.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
was somewhat interesting, but just not in the mood for and too many other
books to fit in....made it about half way through
Debbie Sarvis
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I have read this wonderful book. Since my last reading, I have read many more historical novels and this one stands the test of time.
Valerie Havins
rated it it was ok
Jun 08, 2017
Carolyn Norton
rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2015
Mskesavage Gmailcom
rated it did not like it
Jul 05, 2017
Judi Henderson
rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2014
rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2015
Sheila K
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2015
rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2011
« previous 1 3 next »
  • The Altarpiece
  • Naturally Bug-Free
  • Strictly G.I.: The WWII Letters of Cpl.Wanda M. Renn
  • Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays
  • Lost & Found in Egypt: A Most Unlikely Journey Through the Shifting Sands of Love and Loss
  • Trust in Time (Shaw Brothers Series, Vol. 2)
  • From Martin to Despallier: The Story of a French Colonial Family
  • Esther's Song
  • Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance
  • Kennedy and Reagan: Why Their Legacies Endure
  • Daughter of the God-King (Regency, #2)
  • Opportunity, Montana: Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape
  • Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination
  • Path of a Patriot: The Die is Now Cast
  • Beautiful Evil Winter
  • Charity
  • The Price of Thirst: Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos
  • The Figures of Beauty
Roberta Grimes is a business attorney who had two experiences of light in childhood. She majored in religion at Smith College, and she spent decades studying afterlife evidence, quantum physics, and consciousness theories in order to understand the fundamentally spiritual nature of reality. She uses fiction to explore human nature and the ways in which spirituality affects our lives.
More about Roberta Grimes...