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The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher

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Becky Thatcher wants to set the record straight. She was never the weeping ninny Mark Twain made her out to be in his famous novel. She knew Samuel Clemens before he was "Mark Twain," when he was a wide-eyed dreamer who never could get his facts straight. Yes, she was Tom's childhood sweetheart, but the true story of their love, and the dark secret that tore it apart, never made it into Twain's novel.

Now married to Tom's cousin Sid Hopkins, Becky has children of her own to protect while the men of Missouri are off fighting their "un-Civil" War. But when tragedy strikes at home, Becky embarks on a phenomenal quest to find her husband and save her family---a life journey that takes her from the Mississippi River's steamboats to Ozark rebel camps, from Nevada's silver mines to the gilded streets of San Francisco.

Time and again, stubborn but levelheaded Becky must reconcile her independent spirit and thirst for adventure with the era's narrow notions of marriage and motherhood. As she seeks to find a compromise between fulfillment and security, she also grapples with ghosts of her past. Can she forgive herself, or be forgiven, for the lies she's told to the men she's loved? Will she ever forget the maddening, sweet-talking, irresponsible Tom Sawyer, the boy who stole her heart as a little girl? And when she is old, and Huck and Tom and Twain only memories, whose shadow will still lie beside her?

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 22, 2007 – Hart s latest (after Ordinary Springs) imagines the fictional Becky Thatcher best known as Tom Sawyer s crybaby girlfriend as a strong heroine whose true story was held back by childhood friend Samuel Clemens, who chose to give the charismatic Tom Sawyer center stage in his writings. Hart s riveting and often moving take intersperses Becky s version of events in the Mark Twain novel with the events of Becky s life as the wife of Tom s cousin Sid during and after the Civil War. In Hart s hands, Becky morphs from sniveling and helpless to woman warrior: dressing as a man to find her husband on Civil War battlefields and trying to hide from Sid and herself her lifelong love for Tom. The narrative finds Becky in Nevada, navigating life in a mining town, and eventually in San Francisco as a wealthy woman. In between, the author conveys the hell of battle and how its effects linger long after the last shot is fired. Mark Twain purists may balk at the idea of Becky fearlessly trekking with Tom s Freebooters, and though the charisma that Tom supposedly radiated doesn t entirely come through, Hart brings her sometimes motley cast to life throughout. Mark Twain is a tough act to follow, but Hart does her heroine justice.
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jan 08, 2008
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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