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Hill Country

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  225 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
When Laura Hoge Woods died in 1966, at the age of ninety-six, she left her granddaughter a cardboard box labeled "For my Janice when I'm gone." In the box were her thin gold wedding ring, her old blue Olivetti portable typewriter, and all of her fading notes for the "Hill Country" manuscript. Using her grandmother's exquisite notes, Windle creates a remarkable portrait of ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 18th 2000 by Touchstone Books
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Feb 13, 2012 Aleisa rated it really liked it
I probably actually loved this book 5-stars worth but I have recently adopted my mom's system of awarding all 5 to only books I would read again. (This is not as strict as it sounds--I love re-reads. :) The reason I could never re-read this book is that I just finished it and am thoroughly depressed about mortality. Even as a child I recognized that books that ran through an entire lifetime made me so sad. To get emotionally attached to a group of characters and then have to watch them change fr ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Alisa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alisa by: Book Club pick
I really enjoyed this book and I don't think I would have found it had it not been our book club pick for this month. It's historical fiction and my only negetive would be that I wish I knew what was the history and what was the fiction. There is also some great black and white photos of the characters portayed that I really enjoyed seeing. I did wish there was a picture of Herman Lehmann, but I suppose that would have been totally against his character to have taken a photo for history's sake. ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Luana rated it really liked it
Janice Woods Windle is a masterful story teller. This book is a companion to "True Women" and both could be considered historical biographies as they tell the stories of her female ancestors - how they came to Texas, the hardships of being pioneers including Indian raids, the effects of the Civil war, etc. In "Hill Country" the main character is the author's grandmother, a survivor against many a crisis and hardship, a mentally ill daughter and in short, life in general. She dreams of her husban ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Ei rated it it was amazing
Historic novel written about a girl growing up in desolate western Texas during the late 1800's through 1960's. Another page turner. Thoroughly enjoyable. Goes into the politics of Texas, and Indian attacks of the settlers. Wish this book was not done so soon. Strong, courageous, compassionate.
Judy Scholl
Apr 20, 2014 Judy Scholl rated it it was amazing
By the author of True Women, Hill Country offers a detailed description of the Texas Hill Country from the Texas Revolution until 1965. The author's family were close to the Baines-Johnson family. It tells the early life of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Apr 04, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the last couple of books I have read about strong women taming their environment and overcoming the challenges of their day. I find it interesting that the lives of these women would of quietly slipped out of our consciousness were not for a granddaughter who honored their memory and printed their story.

"Hill Country" is wonderfully detailed book about a woman finding her purpose and influence in a world and time that held little value for women. Lessons in life and example of t
Trish Fehrt
Oct 19, 2013 Trish Fehrt rated it really liked it
I loved this book - even more so because it's about real people (then again, I enjoy historical fiction). Hill Country, is a life story based on the author's grandmother Laura Hoge Woods. Laura kept extensive journals and was writing her own autobiography - which she later passed down to her grand daughter. Laura was a determined and independent woman up to her nineties, her life began in frontier days and overlapped the childhood and career of her best friend's son, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The a ...more
Mar 07, 2016 Wil rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book for the book group because it takes place in this area of Texas. Her family were good friends with the Johnsons and she mentions LBJ a lot.
C Franzel
Feb 13, 2015 C Franzel rated it liked it
An interesting read but I found the portrayal of Laura bordering on hero-worship at times, seemingly a woman without faults. Would have benefited from editing down in length.
Kari Twitchell
Jan 26, 2016 Kari Twitchell rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, texas
Interesting biography of woman who influenced several presidents, including LBJ.
A little slow in the middle but still a good story.
Mary Mathews
Mar 04, 2012 Mary Mathews rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all true Texans
This is a sequel of True Women but does well as a stand alone. The author's grandmother, Laura Hoge Woods grew up in the Hill Country of Texas through a time of Texas coming of age. Written using Laura's unpublished memoir, we experience the barely settled hill country, the introduction of automobiles, women's suffrage, the Depression, wars (including a confrontation with Mexican banditos)and presidential politics. Laura was a close friend of Rebecca Baines Johnson, the two having sons the same ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Brandy rated it it was amazing
This book happens to be about my ancestors. I love this book. I felt like I was there.
Oct 17, 2015 Judy rated it liked it
An interesting view of Texas politics
May 13, 2011 Jodi rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Argh!!! This one was for bookclub and because I missed the bookclub, I never got around to finishing it. I just couldn't make myself pick up again. It wasn't a terrible book, it just didn't interest me. I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. The name dropping annoyed me. And after reading several other (and better written) books about strong independent women in the southwest during the same time period, I couldn't bear to read another book about it.
Nov 18, 2007 Briana rated it really liked it
My father gave this book to me, in hardcover, when I was in high school. It reminds me of him, minus the yellow-dog Democrat part, but that is only because he was raised by a depression baby who never agreed with the New Deal. But, the book paints a beautiful and realistic portrait of the Texas of my childhood, or more accurately the Texas of my father's childhood. But, not much of the things covered in the book changed from the 60s to the 80s.
Mar 24, 2008 Holly rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Texas History
A friend lent me this book and it went on FOREVER! it started out great, but then halfway through I felt like I was struggling through mud just to get to the end. I finally just quite reading it with a few chapters left. It's the one and only book that I have ever NOT finished. This would have been better broken into two books.

Read this if you have forever and a day with nothing to do.
Darla Lomax
Jul 29, 2008 Darla Lomax rated it it was amazing
After living in the great state of Texas for over 8 years, I became enthralled with Texas history. Both the real and embellished kind! This author's two books tell the story of the great WOMEN of Texas and the incredible role they played in settling the territory, working the land, fighting off intruders and campaigning for the right to vote.
Ruthie Jones
This book is amazing--especially if you live around the Texas Hill Country. After reading this book, Ken and I took the LBJ Ranch tour! I read this in 2002, and it has really stayed with me. It's listed as a novel, but it's more of an unofficial biography. I am thinking of buying a copy and reading it again.
Once again, interesting to read about real people. I had planned to visit Blanco when I was touring Texas Hill Country back in September 2010. I ended up bypassing it, thinking "maybe next time". I'm sorry I did now that Blanco was devastated by the horrible wildfires this past year.
May 27, 2008 Kt. rated it liked it
Started off great. Wonderful story about a strong woman pioneering in Texas in the 1800's/ Turns into a story about LBJ that is rather tedious. Main characters die without any mention, just contextual comments. In the end, I couldn't wait for the old biddy to die already.
May 31, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it
Loved it!!!!! Living in Texas it was fun to pick up on the locations and know exactly where this book referenced. It made me want to do some research and see if one iota of this is true....I am sure parts are and others are embellished more than a little.
Amy Chamberlain
Jul 31, 2013 Amy Chamberlain rated it really liked it
If you want to learn more about Texas history, when central Texas was still being settled, this is a great story that includes LBJ's mother. Also in this vein is the book "Love is a Wild Assault."
Jan 04, 2013 Hapa rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is both an interesting story and a fantastic historical piece. I was pulled into the book immediately. A must-read for those interested in Texan history.
Dec 30, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Magnificent treatment of her grandmother's memoirs. Covering a long life with a lot of history. Enjoyed it immensely will read this author's works again
Debbie Stewart
Jul 16, 2008 Debbie Stewart rated it it was amazing
I bought this novel at a garage sale and it is an awesome novel based on Texas History! Highly recommend this if you love Historical Novels
Kathy Travis
Jan 09, 2016 Kathy Travis rated it it was ok

not really my kinda book
Feb 02, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing
For anyone who has roots in the Texas Hill Country, this is a must read. Beautifully written about real people. Recommend
Jul 21, 2008 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading about the area where I live. It made the history so much more meaningful.
Aug 23, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing
One of my most favorite books ever. Read this book and you will never call "women" the "weaker sex"
Jan 28, 2009 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tracy by: Julie
One woman's amazing life story - and a fascinating survey of a part of Texas history.
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