Genesis: A New Translation and Study


True Women is a stunning first novel based on the author's own roots. Brought up on her family's "great epic tales of war and adventure, love and murder, violence and redemption," Janice Woods Windle searched for the sources that could tell her the truth about the extraordinary women whose blood flowed through her veins. What she discovered was more dramatic still, and from those tales she has crafted a breathtaking work of historical fiction about two dynastic lines, the King and Woods families - the story of ...
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True Women is a stunning first novel based on the author's own roots. Brought up on her family's "great epic tales of war and adventure, love and murder, violence and redemption," Janice Woods Windle searched for the sources that could tell her the truth about the extraordinary women whose blood flowed through her veins. What she discovered was more dramatic still, and from those tales she has crafted a breathtaking work of historical fiction about two dynastic lines, the King and Woods families - the story of the true women of Seguin, and the giants whose destinies touched their lives. Here, Euphemia Texas Ashby King stands firm against the Mexican general Santa Anna and the feared Comanche, Tarantula, and leads the bitter battle for women's suffrage; Georgia Virginia Lawshe Woods defends her household by any means necessary from the sexual blackmail of a corrupt Yankee commandant; and Bettie Moss King fends off wolves, storms, and the Ku Klux Klan as she steers her loved ones through the turbulent birth of modern times. Deeply devoted to family, land, and the state of Texas, passionate and strong-willed, these are extraordinary characters who live, love, and die in a river of time reaching from the battle of the Alamo to World War II. Interweaving the heroic naturalism of Edna Ferber with the magical realism of Texas legend and the real-life history of Sam Houston, Santa Anna, and other historical figures, Janice Woods Windle has transmuted her ancestral provenance into a remarkable work of literary invention and popular appeal.

Three generations of strong-willed women populate this intriguing novel--acclaimed as a Texas Roots--based on stories of the author's ancestors. From the Alamo through World War II and beyond, here are the women of Seguin, Texas. LG Super-Release. (Historical Fiction)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Filled with tales of the strength and bravery of Texas women, this uneven first novel, a fictionalization of the author's family history, moves from 1831 to 1946. Featuring well-known historical figures as well as members of the King and Woods clans, it is a sort of Gone with the Wind , Texas-style. Windle's pastiche of imaginative language (a community is made of ``clapboard and promise'') and cliche (``hair black as night'') is generally appealing. Her story, while sometimes stilted, has many gripping moments. Euphemia Texas Ashby survives Indian attacks and a flight from the Mexican General Santa Anna, marries William King and wrestles with issues of slavery and women's rights. The victim of prejudice because she's rumored to be part Creek Indian, Georgia Lawshe marries gentle physician Peter Woods. During the Civil War, Georgia is forced to kill a vicious Yankee soldier in her house. In the next generation, another doughty heroine, Bettie Moss, marries William's son Henry King and copes with five siblings and a daughter, the Great Depression and the rise of the Klan in Texas. Each succeeding section of this saga is a bit weaker in force and style, as the author's depiction of her kin gets closer to the present day. Characterization sometimes falls victim to the infusion of dry historial data--yet some events--WW I and the influenza epidemic, for example--are quickly dispatched. Slavery is handled in both admirable and saccharine fashion, but interracial marriage and love affairs are depicted refreshingly. In sum, this Texas-sized read is an unusual, intriguing blend of historical novel and family memoir. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club super-release. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
YA-Tracing four generations of Windle's relatives, this compelling novel is drawn from family stories, diaries, letters, historical accounts, and interviews. It not only reveals glimpses of Texas history from the early 1800s on, but also describes the women who aided in the territory's quest for independence. From feisty Euphemia Texas Ashby King, who fights against the Mexicans and Indians and for the right to vote, all the way to fourth-generation Bettie Moss King, who takes a stand against the Ku Klux Klan, all of these figures have a part in and/or know the major players in Texas history. Though their story is fictionalized, their gritty determination is real, as they run the family farms and other concerns while their husbands are away at war or on business. Unique and meticulously researched, this tale of four amazing women will both inspire and inform YA readers.-Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A Texan first-novelist offers a sweeping historical based on the lives of her own female ancestors—a three-generational epic brimful with all the energy, drama, and occasional ingenuousness one expects from the Lone Star State. Whenever Windle trotted out the family legends of how her maternal great-great-grandmother Euphemia Texas Ashby King scared a Comanche raider off her land with a rifle, or how her paternal great-grandmother Georgia Lawshe Woods shot a Yankee captain for threatening her daughter's virtue, her children expressed doubt that women ever behaved in such a way. The result is this exhaustively researched tale of the King and Woods clans, who farmed, fought, and bred in the fertile south-central towns of San Marcos and Seguin. Beginning with five-year-old Euphemia's witnessing the aftermath of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, which led to a mass female flight away from Santa Anna's army, Windle traces Euphemia's return to Seguin, where she marries one of the infamous Rowdy King Boys, establishes a horse-breeding farm, and begins a dynasty of her own—all while fending off Comanche and panther attacks and weathering the whipsawing political scene as Texas becomes a republic, then a state, then a member of the Confederacy, and finally a state again. Meanwhile, Georgia Lawshe, a plantation-owner's daughter, is ripped from her genteel surroundings to resettle with her physician husband in sleepy San Marcos. Practical Georgia soon establishes a thriving cotton plantation and refuses to be distracted even by the Civil War from supervising the building of a family estate. The stubborn, make-do genes of these two pioneer women come in handy through several moregenerations of Texas females—who suffer through tornados, Yankee occupations, death, divorce, and the Depression with relative aplomb—before combining in the form of the author herself. Windle stumbles occasionally in her effort to justify some of her protagonists' actions—but the author's passion for the landscapes and people of Texas overshadows these minor flaws. (First printing of 150,000; Literary Guild Dual Selection for February)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559949538
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged

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