Janice Woods Windle tells the story of Texas from the Texan Revolution up to and including the Depression through the lives of her female ancestors. They appear to have led bizarrely dramatic lives – leading parties of refugees shortly after the Alamo, outriding Native American chiefs, shooting dead Yankee generals, and meeting all the major figures of Texan history – but there seems to be no suggestion that the basic facts are untrue. She seems to have had some very adventurous ancestors! Apparently a mini-series of this was made in the mid-1990s, featuring Angelina Jolie before she was famous, BTW!
It must be quite difficult to write about your own ancestors when you’re having to tackle topics such as slavery and driving the Native Americans out of their ancestral lands, but the author manages it fairly well. Her style of writing isn’t the world’s greatest and I could live without the idea that she learnt about her ancestors through a medium who could contact the dead, rather than through research and family legends, but it’s a good book all the same.
Next up for me is James Michener’s “Texas” – all 1500 pages of it!