MixedThe Dallas Morning NewsBird is a gifted writer, using first person to take us through Williams\' travails. But this is a problematic tale, weakened by hard-to-believe depictions of Williams\' efforts to hide her female identity, an interwoven love story that stretches too far, and portrayals of Native Americans, former slaves and whites that at times feel stereotypical ... Despite its flaws, it is a highly readable, compelling tale set in a fascinating time period. You can\'t help but root for its heroine.
RaveThe Dallas Morning News...a gripping coming-of-age narrative about friendship and loss ... Woodson tells this story in short vignettes, each poetically written, nuanced with repetition and deeply steeped in emotion. There is a steady rhythm that beats beneath her words as the narrative unfolds.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsKarl Jacoby is a stellar researcher, and the topic is fascinating. He ferrets out Ellis’ tale of reinvention from historical documents, news accounts and Ellis’ personal material, including letters to his family. Where records are scarce, such as for the years Ellis was a slave on a Victoria plantation, Jacoby instead turns to what is known about American slavery itself ... As Ellis’ elaborate and secretive life unfolds, Jacoby weaves a tale of American and Mexican history and details the politics that played out along the countries’ borderlines ... The book isn’t a fast read. There are times when the Ellis narrative is weighed down by the relevant history needed to understand his actions, opportunities and the era. But it is worth the effort to understand this important slice of American history.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsDetails are rich and poignantly told in this well-researched and highly readable book.
PanThe Dallas Morning NewsMany of the novel’s characters seem in search of their souls, but it is hard to get past the suburban blandness and really care about them.
PositiveDallas Morning NewsHer story doesn’t unfold chronologically. It comes like life and wisdom — in layers. She pushes forward and travels back, opening the windows and doors of her home so we can see inside.