“Louisa Catherine Adams lived a life that seems made for the telling…It is a pleasure to read.”  —New York Times Book Review, *editors choice*

“Drawing on a rich trove of letters, diaries, and memoirs, historian and journalist Thomas has created an enthralling, sharply etched portrait of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1775-1852), the wife of America’s sixth president….Thomas effectively sets Louisa’s eventful life against the backdrop of a nation transforming itself, debating foreign and domestic policy, including slavery, which John Quincy vehemently opposed. An elegant, deeply perceptive portrait.”—Kirkus Reviews, *starred*

“Great writing is always worth the journey into the past, into a country discovering who it was. This is a life of Louisa Adams; Louisa Thomas gives that life a heart.” —San Diego Book Review

“In this engaging and well-researched biographywriter and historian Louisa Thomas rescues a former first lady from near obscurity….Louisa is a fascinating portrait of a complex woman, her sometimes tumultuous marriage and the extraordinary era in which she lived.” BookPage

“Louisa Adams consumes us as a demure yet dazzling woman, a somewhat overlooked first lady who is as vulnerable and fragile as she is complex and spirited. One cannot get enough of her. The other treat in Louisa Thomas’s Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams is the extraordinary voice of the author. Thomas’s unusual, enchanting choice of words together with her subject’s strenous and glamourous life, make this book an unlikely page turner.”American History

“A rich and thorough look at our country’s only foreign-born first lady.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“In this elegant, sweeping biography….Thomas wisely avoids the ‘behind every great man’ canard, acknowledging that while Louisa’s help was essential to John Quincy’s career, of greater importance are the ways in which she learned about herself and the world and developed her own voice.”—Publishers Weekly

“As journalist and historian Thomas reveals in her comprehensive and fascinating biography, Adams was an admirable and extraordinary woman. Thomas examines the life and evolving character of Adams through the prism of her nation’s own development and quest for a national identity… Thomas has written an excellent account of the life of this woman, who certainly merits greater attention and praise.–Booklist, *starred*

“Immensely readable.” —Library Journal *spring pick*

“The thrilling, improbable life of our only foreign-born First Lady, to whom Quincy, Massachusetts seemed more exotic than Tsar Alexander’s St. Petersburg.  If, as Louisa Thomas makes splendidly clear, being born an Adams was difficult, marrying one was yet more so.  Louisa Catherine Adams knew how to please her husband (study Cicero), as well as how to displease him (wear rouge); we come to admire her on both counts in this nuanced, beautifully crafted portrait.”—Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The WitchesCleopatra, and A Great Improvisation  

“Louisa Thomas has written a beautiful, wise, and compelling book about a member of America’s Adams clan who may just be the most interesting Adams of them all. Rigorously researched and written with grace, conviction, and insight, Louisa is a marvelous achievement by a biographer from whom we shall be hearing for decades to come. For that in general and for this book in particular we should all be grateful indeed.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author of American LionFranklin and Winston, and Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“For a long time I have been waiting for a biographer with sufficient style and emotional range to tell the quite extraordinary story of Louisa Catherine Adams in all its splendor and sadness.  Louisa has been worth the wait.” —Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Quartet and First Family: Abigail and John Adams 

“You will want to read every word of Louisa–Louisa Thomas’s dazzling portrait of first-lady Louisa Catherine Adams and her complicated marriage to America’s sixth president, John Quincy, a man who believed ‘women had nothing to do with politics,’ yet permitted his wife to  wage a ‘campaigne’ in private salons and ballrooms that led to his election.  Chances are good that no first lady was unhappier in the White House than Louisa Catherine Adams, but hers was a long life of surprising adversity and high adventure, every chapter of which Thomas relates with brilliant sympathy and insight.”—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life 

“This lyrical and deeply personal tale gives a fascinating glimpse of America at a transformational moment. But more than that, it’s a timeless book about what it means to be a woman, how to invent your own personal identity, and how to have the self-awareness and faith to find what to live for and why. These are lessons just as valuable for our fast-changing age as they were for that of Louisa Adams.” Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life