If a Poem Could Live and Breathe: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt's First Love (Hardcover)

If a Poem Could Live and Breathe: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt's First Love By Mary Calvi Cover Image

If a Poem Could Live and Breathe: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt's First Love (Hardcover)


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A fact-based romantic speculative novel about Teddy Roosevelt’s first love, by Mary Calvi, author of Dear George, Dear Mary.

Studded with the real love letters between a young Theodore Roosevelt and Boston beauty Alice Lee—many of them never before published—If a Poem Could Live and Breathe makes vivid what many historians believe to be the pivotal years that made the future president into the man of action that defined his political life, and cemented his legacy.

Cambridge, 1878. The era of the Gilded Age. Alice Lee sets out to break from the norms of her mother’s generation. Women are fighting for educational opportunities and exploring a new sense of intellectual and personal freedom. Native New Yorker, Harvard student Teddy Roosevelt, is on his own journey of discovery, and when they meet, unrelenting currents of love change the trajectory of his life forever.

If a Poem Could Live and Breathe is an indelible portrait of the authenticity of first love, the heartache of loss, and how overcoming the worst of life’s obstacles can push one to greatness never imagined.

MARY CALVI is a 12-time New York Emmy award-winning journalist and national anchor. Her in-depth research for her debut book, DEAR GEORGE, DEAR MARY: A Novel of George Washington's First Love, is the basis of a Smithsonian Channel documentary. Calvi lives in Yonkers, New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250277831
ISBN-10: 1250277833
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 14th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English

Praise for If a Poem Could Live and Breathe
"Another solid presidential love story. . . The authenticity of Theodore’s feelings for Alice is made palpable in the magnetic narrative, and the inclusion of his love letters to Alice, some published for the very first time, is a nice touch. Historical fiction fans will be pleased." -- Publishers Weekly

"An entertaining novel to devour with tissues nearby." -- The Historical Novel Society

Praise for Dear George, Dear Mary

"Calvi's debut skillfully depicts the ill-fated love story of a promising 24-year-old colonel named George Washington and Mary Eliza Philipse, a...New York heiress, [in this] 'affecting' narrative." -- Publishers Weekly

Calvi's portrait of Washington as an earnest young man striving for success but beleaguered on every front is convincing and, in a way, endearing. It is also a fascinating and unique look at pre-Revolutionary War society, with its misunderstandings and simmering resentments, and notable for the author's use of contemporaneous documents." -- Booklist