Set in the 1850s,
The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton speaks to you in a splendidly quirky voice: the strong, wry, no-nonsense voice of Lidie Harkness of Quincy, Illinois, a young woman of courage, good sense, and good heart. It carries you into an America so violently torn apart by the question of slavery that it makes our current political battlegrounds seem a peaceable kingdom.
Lidie grows increasingly important to you as you follow her travels and adventures on the feverish eve of the War Between the States. With its crackling portrayal of a totally individual and wonderfully articulate woman, its storytelling drive, and its powerful recapturing of an almost forgotten part of the American story, Jane Smiley is at her enthralling and enriching best.
By Jane Smiley