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So Many 5 Star Reviews for

The Power to Deny! 

A Colonial Woman Gets Her Turn in the Spotlight

"Most contemporary Americans have never heard of Elizabeth Graeme, but during her lifetime in 18th century Philadelphia she was widely known and respected as a lively writer and hostess. Her male friends -- important generals, lawyers, physicians and signers of the Declaration -- are familiar to us all and have been subjects of bestselling biographies, fiction, even musicals. With this book Elizabeth Graeme comes to center stage as an heroic example of the trials women of her era endured during the birth of the country.

I confess that I have known of Elizabeth Graeme for quite a while and have been a docent at her beloved Graeme Park, where I tell a four-minute version of her story to visitors in her bedroom. I have never felt so close to her as I do now that I've just finished reading this accomplished piece of writing. It is historical narrative at its finest!"

A Must Read for Historical Fiction Fans!

"If you are a fan of historical fiction, you simply must read this book! I was hooked from the beginning and found it extremely difficult to put this book down. The author has managed to successfully transport you to a time that was volatile and uncertain, to a time when it was difficult to know who was friend or foe, and where families found themselves divided by opposing choices. You quickly become immersed in the lives of the characters and it's easy to imagine the time and place through the author's beautiful writing. It was a shock to look up from my reading to discover myself surrounded by the modern conveniences of the world we live in today.

This is a fantastic first novel and I sincerely hope we will be seeing more from this author in the not so distant future. Please!"

A Must Read

"In The Power to Deny, Wendy Long Stanley has given us a compelling and colorful portrait of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, one of the most accomplished women in 18th-century America.

Stanley has created a nuanced fictional character from this real-life figure of note, no easy task. Her Elizabeth feels like flesh and blood—a sister, a friend, a confidante, a woman with hopes, dreams, sorrows, and regrets.

She has imbued her story with the rich details of colonial life. We see, smell and hear the places Elizabeth inhabits. We are immersed by turns in the quietude and domesticity of her country existence and the bustle and spark of her cosmopolitan life in the city—the dual worlds that shift along the fault line of her aspirations to learn, write and make her mark in a world where women are denied the freedom to pursue their intellectual goals.

Stanley bookends her story with Elizabeth’s final days as she lies dying in the home of a friend. These are among the most poignant and powerful chapters in the book as the once-vibrant "Betsy," now ill and addle-minded, struggles to grasp the sum of her life’s parts and articulate her legacy.

Overall, the author's clear grasp of the facts has served her well in presenting the dilemmas of a woman chafing under the yoke of 18th-century societal expectations."

Beautifully Written Novel

"This novel provides an immensely enjoyable look into the exceptional life of Elizabeth Graeme. The author spins a beautiful tale of the bygone era of the American Revolution as it unfolds through the eyes of the dutiful but courageous daughter of the well-to-do and respected Graeme family. Her relationships with her family and friends, some who have become well -loved historical figures, are heartwarming and intimately told. We follow Elizabeth from the docks of Philadelphia to the rolling acres of their summer mansion in Horsham Pennsylvania. From a love-struck young woman who will not deny her father’s wishes, to a courageous pioneer who bravely fights for all that is hers, we come to admire and respect this loving and loyal woman. Well researched history, combined with Wendy's beautifully-written fictionalized tales of romance and adventure, you will find yourself reading a story you wish would never end."