I did it! I finally finished this mammoth, nearly 1100 page novel about Texas history. I do read fast, but the size of this book, and the holidays, set me back nearly 2 months with this book. But I’m glad I pushed through and finished it.
Michener generally starts with a couple of main characters and weaves a story of that family through time, tying in the history of a state with the fictional story he has created around it. Texas is much the same, but I felt like he introduced new characters and dropped old ones as he went along, with some family lines disappearing altogether.
There is so much history to Texas, beginning with it’s native and Spanish roots. Michener bit off a lot with this one. From the early settlements, Texas as it’s own country, to statehood, the author does a wonderful job illustrating the values that make up a Texan. They were ambitious, not afraid of hard work, and above all, valued their freedom. There were many instances throughout the novel where Texans took things into their own hands and got things done – things, that are often left to the law or other organizations dedicated to the task.
There were times when I felt the book could have used a better editor (especially during the “task force” chapters), and there were times when I wished the author had spent more time on one subject and less on another. But that is natural when taking on such a huge subject. I enjoyed this novel, but not as much as Michener’s Hawaii and Chesapeake.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1985