|| Disclaimer: I received this free Kindle book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Took me awhile to get through this book despite it being a good read. It was actually a great read but I was reading other books at the same time. I liked that I could keep returning to this one and pick up right where I left off.
If you are a Mark Twain fan and don’t want to hear any NEGATIVES about Samuel Clemens then DO NOT read this book. The genre is historical fiction and the author has certainly done a lot of research.
The story focuses on Samuel Clemens, his alter ego Mark Twain(the sweetheart of America),his secretary Isabel Lyon and their complicated relationship.Clemens’ daughters and wife Livy also play important roles in the story, especially daughter Clara.Clara is spoiled and petty and is not a likeable character.
My impression was that Samuel Clemens had many faults and was not at all like the folksy Mark Twain. He was moody and mean spirited. Isabel loved him despite his faults. She was interviewed by Hal Holbrook when he was doing his one man Broadway show on Twain. She would not say an unkind word against Clemens although she would have had plenty of reasons to set the record straight and redeem her good name.
We find out immediately in the story that Isabel married Clemens’ business manager Ralph Ashcroft with Sam’s blessing and then a month he was slandering both of them. Then the back story begins. It is well written and the story is easy to follow. Helen Keller even makes an appearance with Anne Sullivan.
My takeaway was the Samuel Clemens wanted to preserve the Mark Twain image at all costs including the fact that he did not want his autobiography published until 100 years after his death. This November it is being released in three volumes.It is 5000 pages.
Lynn Cullen does a great job in telling this story.She also wrote Mrs Poe which will now be on my TBR list.