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True Women

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Alive and pulsating with the events of our history, TRUE WOMEN tells the story of two dynastic family lines in Texas, the Kings and the Woodses. Euphemia Texas Ashby King could ride and shoot like any man, and she was there when Sam Houston's rag-tag army routed Santa Anna at San Jacinto . . . . Though she risked her plantation running the Yankee cotton blockade during the Alive and pulsating with the events of our history, TRUE WOMEN tells the story of two dynastic family lines in Texas, the Kings and the Woodses. Euphemia Texas Ashby King could ride and shoot like any man, and she was there when Sam Houston's rag-tag army routed Santa Anna at San Jacinto . . . . Though she risked her plantation running the Yankee cotton blockade during the Civil War, Georgia Virginia Lawshe Woods still had to defend her family from a corrupt Yankee officer . . . . Bettie Moss King survived wolves, storms, and the Ku Klux Klan to steer her family through the turbulent birth of modern times. Inspired by the author's own Texas roots, here is an unforgettable saga of the grit, determination, and courage of TRUE WOMEN. ""Heartfelt . . . The hardships and adventures faced by [this] family are so movingly described that I was in tears." -- The New York Times Book Review


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Alive and pulsating with the events of our history, TRUE WOMEN tells the story of two dynastic family lines in Texas, the Kings and the Woodses. Euphemia Texas Ashby King could ride and shoot like any man, and she was there when Sam Houston's rag-tag army routed Santa Anna at San Jacinto . . . . Though she risked her plantation running the Yankee cotton blockade during the Alive and pulsating with the events of our history, TRUE WOMEN tells the story of two dynastic family lines in Texas, the Kings and the Woodses. Euphemia Texas Ashby King could ride and shoot like any man, and she was there when Sam Houston's rag-tag army routed Santa Anna at San Jacinto . . . . Though she risked her plantation running the Yankee cotton blockade during the Civil War, Georgia Virginia Lawshe Woods still had to defend her family from a corrupt Yankee officer . . . . Bettie Moss King survived wolves, storms, and the Ku Klux Klan to steer her family through the turbulent birth of modern times. Inspired by the author's own Texas roots, here is an unforgettable saga of the grit, determination, and courage of TRUE WOMEN. ""Heartfelt . . . The hardships and adventures faced by [this] family are so movingly described that I was in tears." -- The New York Times Book Review

30 review for True Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catharine

    The author of this book tells the stories of three of her ancestors--her maternal great grandmother, great great grandmother, and her fraternal great grandmother. The book's divided into thirds, one for each character. I learned a lot about the history of Texas of which I knew nothing. The stories were inspirational, seeing the hardships of trials of these women and how they coped with them. The writing was okay, but some passages read like a history book. Having three stories in one book made i The author of this book tells the stories of three of her ancestors--her maternal great grandmother, great great grandmother, and her fraternal great grandmother. The book's divided into thirds, one for each character. I learned a lot about the history of Texas of which I knew nothing. The stories were inspirational, seeing the hardships of trials of these women and how they coped with them. The writing was okay, but some passages read like a history book. Having three stories in one book made it difficult at times for me to remember what happened to which character. Also, the author tried to cover very large periods of time, which made it hard for her to include some information I thought necessary. For example, One of the characters eventually had some grandchildren, but there had been very little mention of her own children. I'm glad I read this book because I've played around some with writing a story of my own ancestors. I've decided if I do so, I will isolate a much shorter period of time and center the plot around an incident or two, and not try and cover a life span. (Interesting note: There was a character named Sarah in this book. Her life is the basis of the book/movie "Sarah, Plain and Tall")

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This gave a very interesting perspective on the feminine side of the Texas Revolution / frontier experience / Civil War experience. Janice Woods Windle writes about the history of places I call home, so that's the biggest draw for me. I enjoyed this book more than Will's War - the writing just seemed more polished, but I really enjoy the bits of history that she has crafteed into her fiction about people and places that aren't usually in the historical fiction spotlight.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    This is an incredible read. It begins with the fight for Texas after the fall of the Alamo and ends with World War II. The heroes in Texas often wore skirts, and not just buckskin britches. The writer tells of her ancestors in a most readable fashion. It's not just a history book. Enjoy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Catlopez

    As a Texan and fan of Texas history, this was one of my favorite historical fiction novels I have read. You really felt like you understood what it was like to be a woman in Texas in the 1800's. Apparently there is a tour you can take of the women's homes and that is now on my to do list!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debi

    This is not an easy book to read but I highly recommend it to every woman I know. The writing is good enough, its the subject matter that tears at your heart. It's actually the lives of 3 separate women and their times in history. you live with them in times of terror, heartbreak and living. I live very close to the local involved and have passed by many times. I now plan a pilgrimage to some of the spots mentioned in Seguin, Gonzales and Lockhart. It brings Texas to life in a way that you'd not This is not an easy book to read but I highly recommend it to every woman I know. The writing is good enough, its the subject matter that tears at your heart. It's actually the lives of 3 separate women and their times in history. you live with them in times of terror, heartbreak and living. I live very close to the local involved and have passed by many times. I now plan a pilgrimage to some of the spots mentioned in Seguin, Gonzales and Lockhart. It brings Texas to life in a way that you'd not thought of it before.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ferne

    Can't finish this one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    I have not seen the movie of this, but I can't imagine it being any better than the book. Janice Wood Windle is writing about her own ancestors and their every day struggles during the civil war. Her depiction of Santa Anna, Tarantula, Sam Houston, and others is excellent. You can just see in your mind's eye, the beautiful land and the not-so-beautiful battles against the American Indians and Mexicans. I have read this book four times and I would highly recommend it to any southerner or anyone i I have not seen the movie of this, but I can't imagine it being any better than the book. Janice Wood Windle is writing about her own ancestors and their every day struggles during the civil war. Her depiction of Santa Anna, Tarantula, Sam Houston, and others is excellent. You can just see in your mind's eye, the beautiful land and the not-so-beautiful battles against the American Indians and Mexicans. I have read this book four times and I would highly recommend it to any southerner or anyone interested in this type of book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I first watched the miniseries when it debuted on TV years ago, then read the book shortly after. I re-read and re-watched both before heading to Texas in September 2010. I checked out the towns covered in the book and even visited Dr. Peter and Georgia's graves in San Marcos. It was interesting to read about real people. Much like Woods Windle's Hill Country.

  9. 4 out of 5

    MiChal

    I discovered the miniseries based on this book in the wee hours of a sleepless night. Bought the DVD. Bought an earlier edition (different dust jacket) of the book. I highly recommend both versions of this weaving of Woods-Windle's family history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    reading it for the 2nd time

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is a multigenerational saga that stretches across Texas history from the Texas fight for independence to World War II. In fact, the story seems defined by wars and the tradition of women staying at home and keeping the families and homes, farms and businesses going and the men go off to fight. Interwoven is a fictionalized version based on the authors own families in and around Seguin, Texas. In the beginning I was afraid the language and descriptions were too flowery, but I soon got used t This is a multigenerational saga that stretches across Texas history from the Texas fight for independence to World War II. In fact, the story seems defined by wars and the tradition of women staying at home and keeping the families and homes, farms and businesses going and the men go off to fight. Interwoven is a fictionalized version based on the authors own families in and around Seguin, Texas. In the beginning I was afraid the language and descriptions were too flowery, but I soon got used to her style of writing and found it had more depth than I thought. Janice Woods Windle draws more heavily on the True Women from her mother's side of the family, Eupehemia Texas Ashby King, and Bettie Moss King. The early part of the book is thoroughly described, while the more recent is less so. All in all a good read especially for those whose ancestors lived during those early Texas years or for anyone who wants to know what life back then was like.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jean-François Tremblay

    I loved this book enormously. It tells an important story, the story of women who lived in a very important era of American history. It is the story of all the women and children who are left behind when men go out at war. The women who survive. The women who make the country what it is, who shape history in their own way. I loved reading these stories that presented a different side of what we’re used to read, the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars from the vantage point of women. I rec I loved this book enormously. It tells an important story, the story of women who lived in a very important era of American history. It is the story of all the women and children who are left behind when men go out at war. The women who survive. The women who make the country what it is, who shape history in their own way. I loved reading these stories that presented a different side of what we’re used to read, the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars from the vantage point of women. I recommend this to everyone. It’s a story of love, life, survival and humanity.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    There are parts of this story that are very interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the writing. Ive been reading it to my elderly MIL who’s struggling with her eyesight. She loves Texas history and the Texas Hill Country so this has been a good pick for that. The beginning is better than the second 1/2 and it was that great start that earned the 3 Stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Harper

    This has been one of my favorite books, ever since I first came in contact with it as a wonderful miniseries in the 90s. I found this book afterwards and it is wonderful, truly a treasure. An easy read, but she draws you into the characters and the wonderful story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Although this book is classified as fiction, it is filled with history. A most interesting read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donna Ledington

    I read this book about 20 years ago. It gave some good historical insight into what life was like during this time. I remember they made a movie based on the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Parth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ugh

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Hobgood

    I had read this book because I had seen the t.v. series. I liked the story because it dealt with life in settling Texas. I thought the novel was a little slow. It was pretty good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robin Black

    Great book and since I live in the areas where these things took place it was interesting to learn more about the history.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Stephens

    Texas history writer Love love love this book!!!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rashay Giezele

    Love historical fiction. Even better that it was centered around my home town.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Tipton

    This is a wonderful book about Texas women

  23. 4 out of 5

    Noelle M

    Gotta admit this was hard to put down. She traces 4-5 generations of her female lineage on both sides. Her own story inside the dust cover is more like a resume than one of these stories. I would suppose time and place make the difference. Explosive opening episode of women, children, slaves fleeing in February cold/wet wilds and weather ahead of Santa Anna's army after final events at the alamo. Mexican criminal types haven't changed their modus operandi much in the last 175 years. He'd be right Gotta admit this was hard to put down. She traces 4-5 generations of her female lineage on both sides. Her own story inside the dust cover is more like a resume than one of these stories. I would suppose time and place make the difference. Explosive opening episode of women, children, slaves fleeing in February cold/wet wilds and weather ahead of Santa Anna's army after final events at the alamo. Mexican criminal types haven't changed their modus operandi much in the last 175 years. He'd be right at home on today's US/Mexico borderlands. Mixed feelings about the Comanches. I hear they were northern plains Indians. Why were they in south-central Texas? Previously read autobiographical sketch of Indian captive named Mary Jemison who went native in upstate western New York around 1800 give or take. Very upsetting reading; behave like modern Arabs, though they had plenty of frontier company in bad behavior. It turns out the Comanches gave up on hunting, got herded into Oklahoma where they run casinos at the current time. I give the 4 four stars because by the last autobio sketch I was getting tired of the topics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janine Barzyk Ackerman

    I didn't love this book. It was boring. I thought I liked historical fiction, but I guess I don't like it all. Or, maybe this one wasn't well written. I read it because it had such good reviews on Goodreads. I'd had it on my bookshelf for so long -- it feels good to have it read. I'll pass it along to someone soon. This book chronicles the ancestors family -- mainly the strong women that were her mother, grand-mothers, and great-grandmothers. The story takes place in Texas and spans the years 18 I didn't love this book. It was boring. I thought I liked historical fiction, but I guess I don't like it all. Or, maybe this one wasn't well written. I read it because it had such good reviews on Goodreads. I'd had it on my bookshelf for so long -- it feels good to have it read. I'll pass it along to someone soon. This book chronicles the ancestors family -- mainly the strong women that were her mother, grand-mothers, and great-grandmothers. The story takes place in Texas and spans the years 1836 - 1940s. There are some aspects of the book I liked. I loved reading about the tough Texas women -- who could ride horses and farm and shoot guns as well as the men. They also have a circle of friends that had strong bonds. The book gets its name from the men at that time, around 1868, who didn't think women should be able to vote, because a "true woman" wouldn't want to be bothered by the busy noise of election day, and that a "true woman" would be insulted by voting because the men considered voting "unwomanly." But the tough Texan ladies thought it was laughable that the men had this view -- and the author thus called the tough Texan ladies the true women.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karyl

    For some reason, I am drawn to these books of strong, pioneering women, and have found myself stuck inside one for the last few months. True Women falls into another one of my favorite types of books, those that deal with one family through the generations. Though it says it is a novel, it apparently is based upon the real-life experiences of Janice Woods Windle's family during the settlement of Texas, its fight for independence from Mexico, its short time as a republic, and its time as part of For some reason, I am drawn to these books of strong, pioneering women, and have found myself stuck inside one for the last few months. True Women falls into another one of my favorite types of books, those that deal with one family through the generations. Though it says it is a novel, it apparently is based upon the real-life experiences of Janice Woods Windle's family during the settlement of Texas, its fight for independence from Mexico, its short time as a republic, and its time as part of the Confederacy. Life was not easy at best in those years, but it became almost intolerable as women and children fled from the barbarity of Santa Anna during the fight for Texas independence and died along the way from exposure and disease. Every generation had its war to be fought, its husbands and sons struck down by enemy gunfire, yet the home front was held by these strong, true women of Texas. This is a fascinating look at how women shaped Texas, even without being able to vote or be active in politics.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nan

    My Texas roots and interest in Texas history lead me to pick up this book, which is based on actual experiences of the author's ancestors at the time of the Texas Revolution and afterwards. Windle has a way of making those times come alive, fleshing it out in the lives of "ordinary" people. But this book is special to me for a personal reason. My curiosity was piqued by the name of one of the main characters, Euphemia Texas Ashby, whose parents had come from Kentucky. Ashby was the maiden name o My Texas roots and interest in Texas history lead me to pick up this book, which is based on actual experiences of the author's ancestors at the time of the Texas Revolution and afterwards. Windle has a way of making those times come alive, fleshing it out in the lives of "ordinary" people. But this book is special to me for a personal reason. My curiosity was piqued by the name of one of the main characters, Euphemia Texas Ashby, whose parents had come from Kentucky. Ashby was the maiden name of the grandmother of my former husband, the father of my children, and she was originally from Kentucky, her great-grandfather receiving land there for his service in the Revolution. A little investigating on Ancestry.com showed that, yes, the heroine of the book was a relative, a descendant of that same great-grandfather. "True Women" was made into a TV movie. I started watching it, but had to turn it off as it missed the feel and impact of the novel by a mile.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kiri

    This book was recommended to me and I don't know...I could not get into the story. I felt like the author was too disorganized, the characters were not fleshed out, and the biggest problem I had with the novel was the constant dramatic foreshadowing. I hate reading a novel where the future is so plainly laid out to you. Example: "And that would be the last time Euphemia saw [insert character] for the next 10 years." There were tons of moments that needed dramatic cue music with them and it drove This book was recommended to me and I don't know...I could not get into the story. I felt like the author was too disorganized, the characters were not fleshed out, and the biggest problem I had with the novel was the constant dramatic foreshadowing. I hate reading a novel where the future is so plainly laid out to you. Example: "And that would be the last time Euphemia saw [insert character] for the next 10 years." There were tons of moments that needed dramatic cue music with them and it drove me crazy. I think the idea of the novel was great, but I was severely disappointed. There was so much to do with this novel, so much that could have been done, but it fell very short of my expectations.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Pro's: I really enjoyed the first 1/3 of the book which went into fascinating history about the Republic years of Texas which I didn't know much about. I also really enjoyed the strong main characters in that part of the book. Con's: Ms. Windle attempted to cover a huge amount of time in this book (over 100 years), and the last 1/3 of the book especially seemed to touch only the highlights, narrate scenes almost like a history book would, and barely scratch the surface of any emotion surrounding Pro's: I really enjoyed the first 1/3 of the book which went into fascinating history about the Republic years of Texas which I didn't know much about. I also really enjoyed the strong main characters in that part of the book. Con's: Ms. Windle attempted to cover a huge amount of time in this book (over 100 years), and the last 1/3 of the book especially seemed to touch only the highlights, narrate scenes almost like a history book would, and barely scratch the surface of any emotion surrounding the events happening. I had to remind myself I was reading a novel several times. Overall, the book was interesting--3 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    Don't let the cover fool you, this is nothing close to a romance. This is the fictionalized true story of Janice Woods Windle's Texas ancestors. Most stories of pioneering women fill you with awe at their staggering bravery, persistence and creativity, but the history of Texas gives these women more than the "average" challenges. The war with Mexico, creating your own country, particularly cruel Indians, water and terrain etc. explains a lot about the legacy of Texas independent thought. I think Don't let the cover fool you, this is nothing close to a romance. This is the fictionalized true story of Janice Woods Windle's Texas ancestors. Most stories of pioneering women fill you with awe at their staggering bravery, persistence and creativity, but the history of Texas gives these women more than the "average" challenges. The war with Mexico, creating your own country, particularly cruel Indians, water and terrain etc. explains a lot about the legacy of Texas independent thought. I think it was closer to a 3 1/2 stars, the first half being much stronger than the last half of the book...certainly worth reading if you are interested in Texas history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This book is not a literary miracle with a sophisticated story, but, as a native Texan, it appealed to me as it brought to life the struggles of good Texas women as the Republic of Texas and, later, the State of Texas were established. A great read that, from all appearances, tells it like it was. That's good to know. And it was kind of fun to have my home, Columbus, Texas, mentioned in the story along with several other places and events that are very close by. Texans and anyone interested in e This book is not a literary miracle with a sophisticated story, but, as a native Texan, it appealed to me as it brought to life the struggles of good Texas women as the Republic of Texas and, later, the State of Texas were established. A great read that, from all appearances, tells it like it was. That's good to know. And it was kind of fun to have my home, Columbus, Texas, mentioned in the story along with several other places and events that are very close by. Texans and anyone interested in early Texas history should read this for some undry descriptions.

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