A new friend, knowing I was curious about east Texas history, suggested I read a historical fiction novel based on a true story–from the memoirs of a woman whose tumultuous life paralleled the birth of Texas. Beginning with chapter one during the evening was a mistake, as I was drawn into these pages with the kind of relentless fasciation that precludes normal chores–like meal times, laundry and an appointment. It’s been so long since I read a story this compelling (and all the more so for its truth) that I’m still reeling from the emotion and chaos of Harriet Moore Page Potter Ames’ life. Though the title is a bit incongruous, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone who needs to identify with the character, wit and resolve that define a true Texas legend. And, for those of us who need a shot of audacious bravery, a mantra of “if Harriet could do it, I can too” isn’t a bad one. Read and be amazed.