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Mamaw: A Novel of an Outlaw Mother
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Mamaw: A Novel of an Outlaw Mother

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Mamaw is the story of Zerelda James, the fearless mother of Frank and Jesse James. Zerelda James watched her husband hanged and then rescued him herself, only to be defeated by the insanity that eventually overtook him. Accused of being a Confederate spy during the Civil War, she was arrested and thrown into prison with her two youngest children. Her home was even firebomb ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 22nd 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1988)
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Debbie
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. Rather than being focused on Jesse James, it followed the life of his mother who was just as fascinating a character as her outlaw son. I'm not sure how much I would have enjoyed and understood the story, however, if I didn't already have a fairly good grasp of the history of Jesse James. The book jumps around and a person unfamiliar with Jesse James might be confused at points. Yet, the point remains that the story is about Mamaw, Zerelda Cole James Samuel, not her ...more
Michèle
Jun 02, 2010 Michèle rated it really liked it
Ce livre raconte la légende des célèbres freres Frank et Jesse James, mais du point de vue de leur mère, Zerelda James.

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Mamaw is the story of Zerelda James, the fearless mother of Frank and Jesse James. The book retrace the legend, atttaching itself to the steps of Zerelda, their mother. who endured a lot an grew into the new century and old age. We learn of Zerel as an untamed, untidy, young woman, more at ease with horses than with men. We leave her at a ripe old age crossing a new century,sp
...more
Regan Sharp
Jul 01, 2011 Regan Sharp rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns, guns
A complete reversal of her portrayal in Ron Hansen's "The Assassination of Jesse James..." In that novel, the mother of the James brothers was characterized as an overbearing zealot prone to melodramatic outbursts. This novel instead turns her into a hillbilly earth goddess--a mythical creature overflowing with maternal mercy. I cannot vouch for the historical accuracy of that depiction, but after reading a number of aggressively masculine western novels, a feminine(feminist?)take on the era and ...more
Donna Davis
Feb 17, 2014 Donna Davis rated it really liked it
I was riveted by the title. I didn't know anyone else out there had even had a "Mamaw", let alone the James brothers! Now that I've done a little checking, I know better, but when I was growing up, I believed that my grandparents were the only "Mamaw" and "Papaw" anyone had, a completely unique pair of nicknames.

Turns out it is a product of the wild west, which makes absolute sense, both for the James brothers' mother, and for my father's parents, who bore him in a clapboard shack on a dusty pat
...more
Rhonda Brodbeck
Oct 21, 2009 Rhonda Brodbeck rated it really liked it
An interesting story of the life of Jesse James from the point of view of his family. I found it interesting and entertaining.
Cristy
Feb 24, 2013 Cristy rated it liked it
Very interesting; I always love reading different perspectives than the ordinary.
Ania
Oct 30, 2015 Ania rated it really liked it
really good story. for me the right extra consultation for being a mother
Judy
Aug 16, 2011 Judy rated it it was amazing
This book is historical fiction, based on the life of the mother of Jesse James. Dodd brings the time period and characters to life. Great read.
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