Read thomas jefferson rachel me by Peter Boody Online


What if Thomas Jefferson returned to life, penniless, powerless, and without a single slave? What if he meets a beautiful mixed-race woman he takes to be Sally Hemings reborn? “Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me” is a tale told by retired history teacher, Jack Arrowsmith, a man numbed by the deaths of his wife and son. It's about his — and his late son's girlfriend, RachelWhat if Thomas Jefferson returned to life, penniless, powerless, and without a single slave? What if he meets a beautiful mixed-race woman he takes to be Sally Hemings reborn? “Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me” is a tale told by retired history teacher, Jack Arrowsmith, a man numbed by the deaths of his wife and son. It's about his — and his late son's girlfriend, Rachel Carter's — adventures with the writer of the Declaration of Independence. They meet the ghost of Jefferson at Monticello and, fighting off their panic, agree to take him off to see America. A history grad student at Columbia, Rachel knows secrets about Jack’s son and wife that she decides Jack must know. They will turn his world upside down, just as Rachel's world will be changed forever by her evolving relationship with Jefferson. Dazzled by Rachel, Jefferson regains the vigor of his prime as the trio travels together. But what then? For all its fast pace and humor, “Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me” is a story about love and friendship, grief and loss, family secrets, and America’s own denial of its past. It's a story that will stay with you long after its bittersweet finale....

Title : thomas jefferson rachel me
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9524984
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 323 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

thomas jefferson rachel me Reviews

  • Amy
    2019-05-22 00:47

    How exactly would Thomas Jefferson react to finding himself suddenly living in the 2010s? Would he embrace modern technology and today's social changes, or would he be a complete fish out of water? The exploration of this theme definitely makes for an enjoyable book. It is intelligent and has more history thrown in than the average time travel book. Actually, this seems to be one part time travel book, one part history book, and one part ghost story. At first, I wasn't sure it could be categorized as a time travel book, but Thomas Jefferson's ghost takes on corporeal form and actually lives and breathes in a time not his own. So it technically counts as time travel.Lest you think that the book be a little too serious for your tastes, I'll present you with a few choice quotes:"I saw Thomas Jefferson naked.""The bill came to more than $1,400. I consoled myself that it was a bargain for a meal with Thomas Jefferson.""You should be Gooogling, Mr. Carter, "Jefferson said. "I Google, but with a healthy skepticism."And, gosh, those quotes pretty much sum up Thomas Jefferson's personality in the 2010s: an information-thirsty,lusty man with an appreciation and need for fine things and the need for a much deeper purse than that which an unemployed ex-president with no identification actually has.Of course, I'm sure you're curious as to what Mr. Jefferson has on his iPod, aren't you? Luckily for you, there's a playlist for that. Trying to place Jefferson in the modern world and imagine his reaction to those things around him is certainly no easy task. I found myself wondering what his main issues would be and whether or not he would fit more into conservative or liberal politics of our day. While he was extremely liberal for his time, the author suggests that he'd have difficulty adjusting to the social liberalism of today, especially the rights of non-whites in America. According to today's standards, he's depicted as having difficulty being "politically correct" when it comes to discussing race. I could see that being true for anyone brought forward into our world from his. But I would want to imagine that he would be more quickly open minded than the average citizen time traveler from his world. And I could see that, as the author suggests, it may be a stretch for him to be able to immediately imagine that the inalienable rights of men pursuing happiness and liberty should also include their sexual rights. It's interesting, though, that the more that you delve into the personal lives of some of our famous founding fathers, the more you realize that you'd only really rather meet them in theory rather than in actual practice. Some of the things that you love about them would probably be the very things that you would grow weary of in real life. (Benjamin Franklin, I'm looking at you, too.)Anyhow, this is a fun novel to read and definitely worth the time ... despite its lack of Oxford Comma in the title. ;) Give it a read and then take yourself out for French food (hopefully without a dead president running your bill up to $1400).

  • Scott
    2019-06-08 04:31

    Loved this book! As a Jefferson buff, I was fascinated by the idea of the man walking in the modern world. I felt Boody did a good job of capturing how Jefferson might react, adapt and view our times. He also did not pretend that Jefferson's prejudices would magically fall away with ease. I breezed right through the pages and thought the tale ended in a wonderful way.Now I cannot wait to re-visit Monticello!

  • Paul
    2019-05-22 01:32

    Of all the Founders, I guess we can't be too surprised that it's Thomas Jefferson who loves to Google on his Mac computer. Jefferson arrives as an apparition, but soon dons flesh and bones and moves right into the 21st century. He's amazed yet undaunted with today's technology, but remains a man of his own time, which presents its own problems for his agreeable hosts and himself.Peter Boody's fine novel is a rare treat. It includes humor and some zany adventures, but also serious issues of TJ's history and legacy. It was a pleasure to share their fun and their troubles.As a history enthusiast myself, I was familiar with many of the references in this book, though this certainly isn't necessary. But it does make me all the more appreciative of Mr. Boody's refreshing, skillful, approach to these topics. Whether you're a Jefferson "fan" or are simply looking for a thoughtful, engaging, adventure, I recommend this book without hesitation. It's total enjoyment.

  • Rick
    2019-05-18 23:32

    Very interesting premise: have Thomas Jefferson come back to life in 2011 and have him spend a year acclimating himself to modern dy America. He makes two good friends along the way; Jack the narrator and Rachel, Jack's dead son's girlfriend. On paper, this should have been a VERY good book. In reality, I was left a bit underwhelmed. The story didn't really go anywhere. Yes, there were a few twists and turns here and there, but for what this could have been I just felt disappointed. The ending also seemed to wrap up quickly and we are just left to close the book and think about what just happened----while thinking, "Gosh, that was kind of weird" It was a weird book---not a BAD book, just a little underwhelming, given the rich possibilities here

  • Tara
    2019-05-21 21:40

    Not my normal genre to read but was pleasantly surprised. Past meets the present. Not only did I find it enjoyable to read I found myself learning fun history facts that I did not know and/or remember. My husband is the history buff and has visited Monticello but I have now decided that maybe I should take a visit there as well. Makes you wonder what our founding fathers really think of the world today.

  • Stephanie Battaglia
    2019-05-28 01:27

    Loved this book. The concept I found was interesting. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen at the end. I also learned things about TJ & the politics of the day that I didn't know. I recommend it highly.

  • Kristin
    2019-06-12 21:39

    I want to state ahead of time that I received this book in a goodreads giveaway; however, I am always very honest in my reviews and I don't think this in any way affects my thoughts on the book or my review here. I did, however, appreciate receiving the book, as I almost do all of my reading through the library and my local library does not have this book available (something I have asked them to remedy).I really did want to read this book, as I love historical fiction, and this book sounded like a great read (which I was hoping it would live up to, as many books are quite a disappointment). And, thankfully, it DID live up to my expectations. I quite liked the story, and felt like I learned quite a bit about Thomas Jefferson (yes, the historical man). I have to admit that I have an especial fondness for him, largely because of my fondness for Monticello (which strangely mirrors a similar fondness of the main characters of the book). I previously live in MN, but when living in the DC area for many years, I visited most of the available homes of former US presidents and easily loved Monticello more than any other. I think it has something to do with the location (stunning views on the mountain top, great land, great air, stunning building), and something to do with the intelligence of the man who created it. I found many of my thoughts/feelings recreated in this book.With that said, I did not love everything in the book. I found the premise of Jefferson being able to "relive" off of Monticello rather far-fetched, and I did not like his relationship with the main character Rachel. He was arrogant, self-centered, inconsiderate of her, etc., etc. However, perhaps, as shown through the book, these were honest characterizations of Jefferson, particularly due to his time period and his thoughts/feelings related to race (Rachel being of mixed race). And... after finishing the book, I can see the value of writing a story where Jefferson interacts with the modern world, as we can really only "know" something when forced to interact with the direct opposite (i.e. many people will understand what I mean here if they have lived abroad, and were therefore able to view their homeland from an environment outside of it). Jefferson could not be expected to understand his views, and the weaknesses of those views, without being exposed to something radically different. And the goal (perhaps) of the book was to show Jefferson in all of his glory, and weakness, and we all know... that perhaps what he is most criticized for is the contradiction is his writings between the rights/equality of man and owning slaves. And then, of course, there is he issue of his relationship with Sally Hemmings. Other than the story itself, what I liked best about the book was it's ability to think of Jefferson is "context." For example, I have always wondered if he "loved" Sally Hemmings, and if so, how could he have loved his wife as well? And how could he have such a long-standing with Sally Hemmings, and produce so many children with her, while at the same time so effectively hiding his relationship with her in his writings and history. And I do think the book does a brilliant job at answering this question (i.e. in light of Jefferson's views with, and experience with, race, his understanding of his relationship with Sally, and of the black race in general... can only be understood when viewing it through his own time and not our own). Meaning, in my opinion (and at least the impression that *I* got from the book), that he did not see his relationship with Sally Hemmings, in the same vein as his relationship with his wife, but more as a relationship of convenience (ie. it began in France, when he did not have access to his wife). Almost more as some men see women, today, they might have a one-night stand with, but not a long-standing marriage between equal partners.I did appreciate the politics in the book, where Jefferson comments on the weaknesses he sees in today's America (particularly in light of the 99% movement, the weaknesses in America's economic class structure and the growing poverty of America's middle class; I also appreciated his observations of the "visibility" of successful black Americans, or lack thereof, and reasons for this). I think there are some good insights brought to light in the book, without there being much preaching.I highly recommend the book for those who light historical fiction (despite the fact that this book takes place in morn times, and not the 1700s), who are fascinated by Thomas Jefferson, who are curious by his relationship with the Hemmings (BTW, I did not know much about Sally's brother Jamie, and enjoyed his inclusion in the book), and perhaps those simply interested in comparing American history with modern-day US. It's a pretty quick read, but an interesting one. Also, well written (i.e. well paced, realistic main characters, and appropriate and satisfying conclusion to the book, etc.).One sidenote... when reading this book, it did make me think of the book "The Healing" by Jonathan Odell. I felt that that book did a great job of providing a really realistic, and honest, view from the point of house slaves. Whereas, I thought this book did a job good of providing a viewpoint of the slave owner (one who thought they provided for their slaves and treated them "kindly," not one who was sadistic and violent that is).

  • Kathy Cunningham
    2019-05-27 02:48

    What would it be like to spend a year in the company of Thomas Jefferson – the real Thomas Jefferson, alive again in the 21st century? That’s the premise of Peter Brody’s mesmerizing novel, THOMAS JEFFERSON, RACHEL & ME. The story’s narrator, retired history teacher Jack Arrowsmith, runs into the ghost of Jefferson one summer afternoon at Monticello, Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, Virginia. A few days later, he and his friend Rachel Carter return to Monticello to search for the ghost; what they find is a real flesh-and-blood Jefferson who joins them on an incredible journey of discovery. How has the world changed in the almost two centuries since Jefferson’s death? And how has Jefferson’s legacy been tainted by the racism that defined his life?The heart of this novel is its close look at the institutional racism that formed the cornerstone of the birth of our nation. Jefferson, suddenly alive and well in 2012, is faced not only with the historical reality of post-17th century America (including the Civil War, emancipation, and Civil Rights), but the fact of a black American president. On a personal level, he had loved a slave named Sally Hemings, they had children together, but he never publicly acknowledged these relationships. He betrayed Sally’s brother, a man Jefferson had promised to free and then hire as a White House chef. And while he was understandably a product of his times, Jefferson was no doubt a racist – early in the novel, he comments to Jack and Rachel that his black slaves were “such lazy people. One had to brandish the whip to inspire some of them.”Jefferson’s return to life in corporeal form clearly has a purpose in this novel. He must make amends for his relationship with both Sally Hemings and her brother, and for the seeds he planted that led to the Confederacy’s secession from the United States, the Civil War, and the continuing racial divide that plagues our country even today. It’s a big learning curve for Jefferson, and he has a hard time with a lot of it. He can’t seem to help putting his foot in his mouth as he meets more and more black people with educations and minds of their own. At one point, when a black woman he meets on a train tells him that her daughter is a Harvard-trained professor, Jefferson asks, “Is such a thing common, for a black girl to go to Harvard?” At another point, he wanders into a black neighborhood in Washington DC and makes the kinds of comments that get him mugged.While a lot of THOMAS JEFFERSON, RACHEL & ME focuses on history – of Jefferson’s times and of our own – it’s just as much a personal story, and a romance. History student Rachel Carter, who was engaged to Jack’s now-deceased son Ben, seems to have some familial tie to Sally Hemings. She finds herself strangely drawn to Jefferson, as if she is “compelled to love this man.” And Rachel’s father, a chef with a small restaurant in Yonkers, New York, seems to know more about Jefferson (and the Hemings family) than can be easily explained. There is a romance between Jefferson and Rachel, and an uneasy friendship between Jefferson and Rachel’s father. And all of them play into the novel’s denouement as Jefferson begins to take responsibility for his own failings as both a man and a leader of this country.I enjoyed THOMAS JEFFERSON, RACHEL & ME very much. In some ways it reminded me of THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE (there’s a similar magical quality to Brody’s prose, and a similar sadness to the romantic story). Some may find all the references to Jefferson’s racism difficult to stomach – it’s never easy to look reality too closely in the face – but ultimately the novel affirms Jefferson’s strength of character while acknowledging his flaws. I found it a balanced and believable portrayal. It’s also a hopeful and optimistic look at what the future might hold for us. Jefferson evolves into a man who truly sees the good in all humanity, a man who believes we have the ability to transcend our own prejudices and weaknesses to build a more perfect union. This is a message that is sorely needed these days. I highly recommend this novel.[Please note: I was provided a copy of this novel for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

  • Carol
    2019-05-21 20:43

    I was thrilled to win a SIGNED copy of this compelling and imaginative book! Then I was thrilled as I read the story. The author quoted Emily Dickinson, saying: "Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality." Thus begins of story of immortal love pursued by a man created by his times. There was a charming, dreamlike quality to the 1st chapter that engaged my interest and led me, willingly, deeply into the story. Thomas Jefferson was such a contradictory personality. He was great, and brilliant, with strong ideas and promise, yet he was as flawed as any other man. Early on, in the book he commented on his rhuematism, which made me realize how human he was. Does a ghost have rhuematism?The author made Jefferson seem very real and historic, using remarks and phrasing I can totally imagine belonging in 1776. His thoughts on the current banking system controlling the economy and therefore our lives was so very real. He said that the great threat of the nation to day was the overwhelming power of corporations controlling the government as well as the minds and hearts of the people. Jefferson was very prejudiced and bigoted, yet could see the irony that a people in bondage helped build this new nation founded on principles of liberty, and equality. So much of this book, as well as Jefferson's life, is centered on the racial questions that this man faced during his lifetime. He may have never realized the importance of the Declaration of Independence on the lives of so many people. My favorite quotes and ideas from this book: "White violence was politics. Black violence inevitable."When faced with the disintegration of the family unit the country is thrown into chaos. He argued with Hamilton's ghost about how the country is humiliating itself by selfish living and class distinction. He said on the subject of music being everywhere these days that it "relegates music to an atmospheric role, like the weather." Music is to be enjoyed for itself. We live each day with so many conveniences that we don't remember the pain, so history, as we look back on it seems less harsh and painful than it really was. We live in a more frantic and busy manner because there is so much to experience and so little time to experience it. Jefferson is remembered as a hero of religious freedom and equality of the rights of man. "One never knows what one is up to in the deepest reaches of one's mind." On speaking of his imperfections, he said "As for history, I did the best I could."Jefferson helped write an important and prophetic document and we do remember him as a 'larger than life' individual. "I like to keep old things going. It gives me hope for myself." And in the end, hope is what I felt, for life, and our country, hope that seems to be lacking in today's world, yet compared to what our country has endured, truly is a part of our lives.This story may be a fantasy, or fairy tale, but it does give me hope and helps me remember that "the spirit of freedom will not be vanquished". "Onward, to the Pacific!"

  • M. Flowers
    2019-06-11 00:51

    Although an avid reader, I have never before felt moved to post a book review. But this book is different. I want to keep thinking and talking about it, maybe to prolong my time with the story and its characters. The book moves quickly, but the characters have stayed with me. Boody skillfully brings the three main characters to life, endowing each with an intriguing past that is still haunting his or her present. Even Thomas Jefferson, who first emerges in a beautifully and eerily rendered twilight scene at Monticello, develops from a mysterious wisp of vapor into a complex corporeal being full of passions, regrets, and questions. What happens when Jefferson embarks on a modern day adventure with Jack, a retired history teacher who is grieving the death of his wife and only son, and Rachel, a beautiful, mixed race graduate student who was engaged to Jack’s late son, is the imaginative story that unfolds in this highly entertaining book. Through his exploration of timeless emotions and moral questions, Boody makes something believable and soul-stirring out of what might have been far-fetched in a lesser author’s hands. Boody writes beautifully and creates scenes that seem so real that it makes you want to re-visit the places where his characters go. At times humorous and at times sad, this book is always engaging, relevant, and thought-provoking. Boody manages to fill the book with fascinating tidbits of history and politics without ever making you feel like you’re in class. Treat yourself and your book club to this book. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Melanie
    2019-05-28 00:44

    This was a fantastic summer read. Retired history teacher Jack Arrowsmith and his late son's girlfriend Rachel find themselves at Monticello one day, where they meet the ghost of Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson then hangs out with Rachel and Jack for the next year.I have to admit, I'm really very fond of the whole time travel premise. This had the elements of time travel, with a good dose of humor thrown in. I learned more about Thomas Jefferson in this book than I had at any other time in my past.There's nothing weird here. Mr. Jefferson is not slaying vampires, or hunting Zombies....although I do have to admit I did enjoy Mr. Lincoln's adventures with the undead. This is just a real uplifting easy story to read. A ghost story for sure, but very plausible at the same time.This book was a freebie that I found via Amazon, but unlike some freebies that I have gotten in the past, it was well written and the formating was perfect. Although I scored my copy for free (it was my lucky day) I would gladly and willingly pay full price for this one.Enjoyed it so much that I'm going to purchase a couple of paper copies to give as gifts this holiday season.Do pick this one up. You won't be sorry!

  • Angi
    2019-06-04 01:41

    Sometimes the free books on Amazon are really quite good, and sometimes they aren't. Fortunately, "Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me" is the former. I enjoyed this book very much. It was part love story, part ghost story, part historical fiction. I don't know much about this amazing man who was our 3rd President, but now I am inspired to learn more. I now want to travel to Monticello to learn more about this fascinating gentleman. Granted, Mr. Boody could take liberties with Mr. Jefferson's personality, as history doesn't tell us much about it. Quite fascinating to see Mr. Jefferson as an "Average Joe" and not *just* the author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, inventor, statesman, governor of Virginia and ambassador to France.It helped that I was listening concurrently to "The Hemingses of Monticello" while reading this book on my Kindle.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-04 22:26

    I am a Goodreads First Reads winner. The Idea of this story really appealed to me. I entered the drawing and then went over to amazon to the take a look inside this book. I loved the preview I read. I was so happy I won a copy. I eagerly waited for my copy in the mail. I was surprised to find that Peter Boody personalized a autograph to me, thank you for that. What a story! I am still reading and absolutely love the story so far. I can't wait to read on and will update what I think of the story.I loved it! Very different from any other books out there. Refreshing!

  • Sally Hallman
    2019-06-09 01:31

    This book caught me by surprise, I think if someone had told me in detail what the premise was, I would have passed but once you are into the story, it is hard to put down. The author definitely knows his Jefferson and gives all the characters a proper amount of believability as they are all entranced by Jefferson's dynamic personality. You definitely do not have to be interested in the historical aspect to find yourself immersed into this well written story.

  • Becky
    2019-06-05 00:50

    I still can't decide if I liked this book or not. I didn't think it was especially well written, yet the premise was good and the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading to find out what happened. I definitely think the readers were robbed by not knowing what went on with Rachel and Jefferson during their time alone together in NY. It would also have been nice to know the whole truth about Jamie instead of having it revealed only to Jefferson.

  • Allison
    2019-06-19 00:39

    I was completely captivated by the time I got to Page 2. Imagine having the opportunity to meet a famous historical figure and get the skinny on why he made the decisions he made. Add to that the ability to introduce him to present-day technology. And the extra "wow" for me was showing TJ around "his" university, Charlottesville and present-day Washington, DC. It was fun to hear about Mr. Jefferson googling things and see him adapt to life today. I enjoyed the whole thing.

  • Mendy
    2019-06-09 20:28

    **I won this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. **I really enjoyed this book. I felt that Peter Boody did a wonderful job combining historical facts with modern times. It was an interesting spin on what could've been. I loved the ending too. I felt an understanding of why things happened and played out like they did. Good job Peter Boost. I would recommend this book.

  • Natalie
    2019-06-07 21:50

    I loved the premise of the book...loved the idea of the ghost of Jefferson returning to modern day times. I found the main characters interesting but the book overall choppy and ultimately unimpressed with the ending. I was hoping for more meat out of the story, I guess.

  • Jim M
    2019-05-28 00:30

    So glad that I had the chance to read this book! Couldn't put it down once started. Filled with interesting Jefferson facts. I have visited Monticello in the past, though will appreciate it all the more on my next visit. What a great book. Wonderful story.

  • Mary Seely
    2019-05-29 04:36

    This is an unusual story. I enjoyed it and appreciated the logical ending. Now I have a lot of questions about Thomas Jefferson's life and beliefs. Another free download from Amazon. Yes, I do read a book about every three days unless I'm working.

  • Linda
    2019-05-31 00:37

    Thomas Jefferson is back and experiencing life in our time. I usually avoid "ghost" stories, but this is an interesting and entertaining look at the changes in our country since revolutionary times. A whimsical tale.

  • Kathleen Rota
    2019-06-11 22:30

    I really enjoyed this book and it kept me engaged while on the treadmill (my litmus test). Wasn't crazy about the ending, but I would def recommend, especially if you like a little history!

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-22 20:47

    I really loved this book and didn't want it to end!

  • Emily Eisenman
    2019-06-11 03:43

    I loved the concept and fully bought into the story. I wish I'd had the book with me when I visited Monticello this summer!

  • Peter Boody
    2019-06-11 00:32

    Authors pray for a Tweet like this!"Can't sleep! TJ, Rachel & Me has taken over my body & mind like no book before. Will it be a movie? Thanks for this work." — Roma Prindle, July 17, 2012.Thank you, Roma, whoever you are.​Some novels are more than the sum of their parts.​"Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me" is a fun read that also strikes a deep chord for many readers, those who appreciate its ultimately haunting mood, its vivid dialogue, and its page-turning story line and its flawed yet enchanting characters, especially the quirky, brilliant Thomas Jefferson."I was hoping for something fresh, original, and thought-provoking. I got that and more - this book was also enlightening, moving, and at times laugh-out-loud funny." — Top Goodreads reviewer/librarian Cheryl in CC NV, October 2012.Part realistic fantasy, part time travel, it also has been called an historical novel and a ghost story. It's not quite any of these things. Rather than a commercial genre novel, it’s a literary work about love, loss and redemption, and the ghosts that haunt us all.​Even though it's an indie book with an extremely limited marketing budget, it found its way into libraries coast to coast in its first year of existence as a paperback (2012-2013).​Among them is the Thomas Jefferson Library at Monticello, operated by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which acquired the novel for its collection in the spring of 2012.​TJRM was chosen by the staff of the Urbana, Illinois Free Library as one of their favorite books of 2012.TJRM has mostly 5- and 4-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.​KIRKUS REVIEWS selected it to be a “Critics’ Pick” for May 2012 and ran its web review in the April 15, 2012 national print edition:​“Boody has written a wonderfully strange ‘what-if’ story … [His] writing is so good … [he] gives Jefferson a wholly authentic voice, with genuine dialogue that bears the stamp of a bygone era. … this Jefferson is delightfully quirky, flawed yet sympathetic and fascinating. Boody’s novel cleverly introduces history to today’s technology, politics and economy. An engrossing, haunting story about making up for lost time.”​SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW gave TJRM 5 stars: “The book is a tale of two men—one from our time and another from the eighteenth century—coping with lose and redemption …“Jack and Rachel are full-bodied and felt like real people. Jefferson is the star of the book, as he is both pronounced and entertaining. While it is Jack’s exploration of growth that is the center plot, the book really gets its motivation from Jefferson’s reaction to modern life. Imagine this slave owner’s response after discovering that the 44th president is African American?“The book has a certain quirkiness to it that makes it a fast read. The pacing of the story is also a well done balance of humor and excitement.“The book feels like a journal of a close friend, which made each discovery more personal and unforgettable.“Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me is a fun, emotional exploration of human interactions that everyone will find to be captivating. This is a story that will touch your heart and make you think, regardless of what century you call home.”

  • Peter Boody
    2019-06-08 22:49

    Authors pray for a Tweet like this:"Can't sleep! TJ, Rachel & Me has taken over my body & mind like no book before. Will it be a movie? Thanks for this work." -- Roma Prindle, July 17, 2012.Thank you, Roma, whoever you are. Maybe someone in Hollywood is thinking along the same lines. A major agency contacted the author by email in late 2013 to ask if the TV/movie rights to this obscure novel were available.​TJRM was named by the staff of the Urbana, Illinois Free Library as one of their favorite books of 2012."I was hoping for something fresh, original, and thought-provoking. I got that and more - this book was also enlightening, moving, and at times laugh-out-loud funny." -- Top Goodreads reviewer/librarian Cheryl in CC NV, October 2012. Please note: She is not someone I know, was not a fan before reading my two books, and her review was not biased by a preference for the subject matter or the genre. Please see her full review below on this page. It concludes: "I do recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a neat story about three very different people brought together by circumstances, whether or not the reader is interested in TJ or history or issues of racism, sexism, and politics. If the reader does have any of those interests, s/he will enjoy the book even more."​TJR&M is not a genre potboiler. If that's what you prefer, you'll probably rate this book a 3. If you like a more subtle story, with layered implications and lots to think about, and truly human characters with good hearts who nevertheless sometimes behave less than nobly, you just may love this book ... and not want it to end, as several reviewers and commenters have said. Take, for example, this post from a peculiar website "f__kyeahthomasjefferson" on Tumblr: "Have you read the book 'Thomas Jefferson, Rachel and me'? I just finished it and now I am sorry that I am. I just want the story to continue...If you have not read it I know you would enjoy it! Take care, Christina"And from Hal Johnson of Bella Vista, California, who rated the book 5 stars in November 2013 and wrote in his Amazon review: "Days after finishing the novel, I find myself missing the world the author created in 'Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me.'"

  • Joan Szechtman
    2019-05-29 21:46

    Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & MePeter Boody330 pagesJack Arrowsmith, the me in the book’s title, and Rachel Carter, Jack’s dead son’s girlfriend, meet the ghost of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. When Jack and Rachel engage Jefferson, he becomes a solid, breathing man who convinces them to take him away from Monticello. Thus ensues a sometimes-delightful tale of past and present that intertwines Jack’s grief over the loss of his wife from illness and his son from an automobile accident with Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence and relationship to the Hemings family and slaves in general.“Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”—Mark TwainBy implication, the novel’s title suggested the most important character would be Jefferson, then Rachel, and lastly, Jack. However, I read more about Jack and his coping with loss than about Jefferson. Rachel, who should have been an important character, was little more than a cipher—her presence for me was more like a _deus ex machina_ enabling the Hemings discussion rather than a fully fleshed character. I don’t know if the reason for this was because the story was told from Jack’s point of view in first person, but for long stretches of the book, we are told about Jefferson’s activity after the fact. As a result, I thought the book was about the narrator instead of Jefferson. I never got close to Jefferson and didn’t witness him adapting to his new situation or grow as a person. Towards the end, it was hard to suspend the disbelief that I had willing done at the start. In addition, the book seemed to be a venue for Boody to express his political views. I found some scenes to be particularly ham-handed. Despite the drawbacks this book has as a novel for me, I found it worth reading for the historical aspects regarding slavery and Jefferson’s relationship with the Hemings family. Notes: I did come across some typos and the occasional clunky sentence. They were few and not sufficient to harm the reading experience. I read the Nook edition.

  • Jeff Dawson
    2019-05-26 20:40

    Disappointed.I had high hopes for this work. The pros: I enjoyed the conversation the main character Jack Arrowsmith carries on with a reincarnated Thomas Jefferson. The language is dead on for the period.The cons: The author needs to go back and reread the work. A lot of words are missing. Paragraph and sentence structure are weak and convoluted at times. Many times I thought there should have been breaks for the thoughts which didn’t flow.I couldn’t help but notice how the reviewers didn’t bring up the over-abundance of exclamation points. How can characters develop when everyone one is yelling all the time. Reminded me of a bunch of teenagers shouting out OMG! OMG! You get the point. These were glaring enough to knock off two stars.I waited five days to write the review. Something was missing. All through the work we are reminded about all the children Jefferson fathered with his slave girl, Sally Hemings and how distasteful Rachel was with his philandering. Yet in the end, Rachel conceives a child with him—a ghost. Seriously? If that wasn’t enough, there is absolutely no resolution in the story. None. How does that work? I suppose if I would have been able to read the acknowledgements first, I probably would have declined to read the work. It’s very presumptuous for an author to claim this work is better than “Jefferson and His Time”, “John Adams,” and “The Hemingses of Monticello.” I haven’t read those works, but based on the amount of reviews I saw, the claim won’t hold up.The book has a lot of potential, but until the author takes the time to turn off the praise light and give the work the attention it deserves, two stars is all I can provide at this time. It has four star potential.

  • James Mooney
    2019-05-24 02:32

    This is a really strange book. At the conclusion, I'm not sure what it was really about: Thomas Jefferson, Peter Boody's transparent biases, or the two carefully-manufactured characters who share the title with Mr. Jefferson.I thought I would enjoy reading it because I spent many years in Virginia and particularly in Charlottesville, and the characters' comings and goings were familiar and conjured up some great memories.But potential readers need to be aware that the basic plot of the story is built around theories and so-called facts about Jefferson that do not enjoy universal acceptance by people who have dedicated their literary lives to chronicalling and interpreting the records of his life.Much of this narrative started in the mid-'70s with Fawn Brodie's "intimate history", after which theories continued to proliferate and for some authors magically became historical facts -- with significant support and advocacy from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation which currently oversees Monticello (check out their website and its explorations of their positions, especially the minority reports). It is quite transparently an effort to downgrade all of Jefferson's accomplishments and contributions because he, like most of the key players in his era, owned slaves.So, possible readers: engrossing read, but not for its content.

  • Lori
    2019-06-08 03:44

    I was a Good reads first reads winner of this book. I even got an autograph by the author Peter Boody.I enjoyed reading this "what If?" book. it is interesting to imagine the what if a real life person comes back in a Fiction setting? It helps to be willing to "go with it" and I did. the main character jack Arrowsmith is a big fan of Thomas Jefferson. on a tour of Thomas Jefferson's estate. Mr Jefferson appears as a ghost to him. then disappears. jack brings Rachel a young woman who is biologically connected to Jefferson back to the estate. this Time Jefferson appears and becomes "human form" { he can now be seen by others} for over one year Jefferson is part of Jack's and Rachel's. life and a young boy named Pip. the reactions from others can be humorous. he even got confronted by secret service because he kept writing to president Obama with suggestions.I found myself getting annoyed at Jefferson at one point because he was draining Jack's bank account with all his spending. { jack was more patient and understanding than I would have been} although Jefferson starting earning money and paying jack back. there is so much more to this "what if" book. I tried to imagine seeing Jefferson and the reactions he got when he claimed to be the real deal. i would give this an almost four.