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True Women

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  533 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews

Available again in a hardcover edition, True Women is Janice Woods Windle's best-selling novel about several generations of strong Texas women, based upon the lives of her own ancestors.

Hardcover, Book Club Edition, 464 pages
Published January 12th 1994 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 1994)
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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 ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Catlopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
May 01, 2007 Beth added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone familiar with Seguin / San Marcos / San Antonio
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.
Jul 26, 2009 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 07, 2010 Elise rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
May 27, 2009 Debi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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.
Jun 05, 2012 MiChal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 18, 2014 Ferne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can't finish this one.
The characters were descriptively written in such a way they seemed to be part of the landscape and their histories represented the collective stories of strong and determined Texas women. I enjoyed these representations. However, the book was a bit too long with the first 3/4 of the book being the best part. I wasn't too interested in Bettie Moss King's story.
I learned a lot about Texas! It was about the lives and events that shaped the women in her lineage. I think it showed how woman did more than birth babies they too made choice that affected their loved ones.
Noelle M
Dec 07, 2011 Noelle M rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 31, 2010 Karyl rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sep 27, 2010 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Kiri rated it it was ok
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
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 ...more
Aug 07, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Texan history.
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
Dec 06, 2010 Luana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great historical novel read from the female settlers viewpoints. The author Janice Windle wove a very interesting tale based on three of her female ancesters from 1836 until after World War II, along w/a great deal of Texas history. Included are why their respective families came to Texas, their living conditions and the changing political climates in Texas. Amazing how much responsibility women shouldered in pioneer times and even in the 20th century, especially when men were off fighting war ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...True Women is not just a genealogical treasure for the author and her family, but a novel of a genuine and legitimate Texas pride, and a novel of making it through all these difficulties with the added historical disadvantage of being a woman. It is a novel about determination, resilience, and perseverance. I would read this again, and I plan to lend it out to as many people as possible."

For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on Blogger:
Apr 23, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book! Couldn't put it down! The author basically tells the history of Texas through the eyes and experiences of three of her female ancestors. Life on the Texas frontier was intense, hard work and these women held their families together through thick and thin! The three stories span from the late 1700s to WWII. I loved how the three women's lived intertwined here and there. Fantastic book (and I learned alot about Texas along the way...).
One of my favorite books of all time. The paperback cover doesn't do it justice. An epic story of Texas' early days and some very strong, courageous women. This book has it all -- romance, action, drama. One of the most memorable and moving scenes I have ever read anywhere lies within the pages of this book. Just thinking about it makes me want to take it down from the bookshelf and read it again. The sequel, Hill Country, is almost as good, too.
Aug 23, 2011 Starry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book based on the mini series with Angelina Jolie in it, and the book has not disappointed me, it had everything I hoped for and more. All the great historic events pertaining to Texas and the lives of the women who helped found Texan society are vividly portrayed. This is a great read for anyone who is interested in: the history of Texas; feminism and women's liberation; or women's friendship and the family circle.

Jun 15, 2015 Colleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only got to page page 85 before I gave it up. I cringed from the beginning of the book at the way the Comanches are described- similar to some old Hollywood movie savages - but I thought it would only get better not worse. "carved up" little children for entertainment. Really? I can see now why my local Library discarded this book from their collection.
Nov 17, 2013 Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading this book. It is very well constructed and so interesting. I find myself thinking about frontier Texas life and the women who lived it (and identifying as if I were there) after I stop reading. Always a good sign! History always makes great fiction in the hands of a skilled writer.
Mar 02, 2013 Kyla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really fascinated by the true stories of these women's lives during the time of the settling of Texas. Quite remarkable what they went through and what they were able to accomplish. The only down side is that I wish she had left out the last woman's story, it just dragged and became a chore to read to the end.
Sarah Cruz
As a women from Texas, I enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel. The first story about Euphemia was obviously the best written and most entertaining. I enjoyed reflecting about how times are sure different nowadays, so I thank Woods Windle for this perspective. This is a great book for anyone interested in learning Texas history!
Apr 02, 2012 Desiree rated it liked it
I remember watching this miniseries in the 90's but I think I now appreciated more the history of the people and places in the stories having grown up in this area. The writing was a little cliche and cheesy at times, and I can definitely understand why they left out one entire character from the miniseries; her part of the book was much slower and less exciting than the others.
Lois Clark-Johnston
I read this book years ago, after having watched the mini-series on tv staring Angelina Jolie.
The book was pretty good for a first novel. Basically the author researched her family history in Texas and took the reader through some of Texas's important moments through the experience of her ancestresses.
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