A Roosevelt Smile

an immigrant, a future president, and a novel a century in the making

After the gunshots that roused the Great War, eighteen-year-old Franceska must leave her home in Benešov, Bohemia. America promises the hope of rising above her quaint beginnings, yet the jagged realities of daily domestic service work quickly deflate her picturesque vision. As Franceska strives to rise above, she finds solace in the presence of Benjamin, a friend from her homeland who immigrated aboard the same ship.

When fate intertwines their paths with Sara Delano Roosevelt, everything changes. Selected for temporary work, Frances feels the first flickers of hope dancing within her soul. Yet in the shadows of her ordinary existence as a domestic servant, Millie, the parlor maid, threatens to shatter everything Frances holds dear.

When Franklin Roosevelt and his family arrive for Christmas, Frances is drawn to his magnetizing presence and finds solace in his boundless generosity, lifting her spirits during her darkest hours. A world of opulence and belonging beckons her, promising the fulfillment of her wildest dreams.

Amidst the glittering allure of this newfound life, the lines between discretion and recklessness blurs, and Frances must navigate treacherous waters. Will her indiscretions jeopardize everything she has worked for? Or will they propel her even further into the tantalizing embrace of the life she has always yearned for?

Penned by Frances’s own great-granddaughter, this historical fiction novel weaves together threads of a century-old mystery. Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and The Gilded Age ready to immerse yourself in this remarkable tale and unearth the secrets of a servant and her son.

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