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The Standing Rabbit

The All True Travels and Adventures of Liddie Newton by Jane Smiley

The All True Travels and Adventures of Liddie Newton by Jane Smiley

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The All-True Travels and Adventures of Liddie Newton by Jane Smiley is a 452-page hardcover published in 1998 by Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Stated First Edition in very good condition.

Book Summary

Six years after her Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley's new novel, set in the 1850s speaks to us 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 a good heart.  It carries us into an America so violently torn apart by the question of slavery that it makes our current political battlegrounds seem like a peaceable kingdom.

Lidie is hard to scare.  She is almost shockingly alive--a tall, plain girl who rides and shoots and speaks her mind, and those straightforward ways paradoxically amount to a kind of glamour.  We see her at twenty, making a good marriage--to Thomas Newton, a steady, sweet-tempered Yankee who passes through her hometown on a dangerous mission.  He belongs to a group of rashly brave New England abolitionists who dedicate themselves to settling the Kansas Territory with like-minded folk to ensure its entering the Union as a free state.

Liddie packs up and goes with him.  And the novel races alongside them into the territory, into the maelstrom of "Bloody Kansas," where slave holding Missourians constantly and viciously clash with Free Staters, where wandering youths kill you as soon as look at you--where Lidie becomes even more fervently abolitionist than her husband as the young couple again and again barely escape entrapment in the webs of atrocity on both sides of the great question.

And when, suddenly, cold-blooded murder invades her own intimate circle, Lidie doesn't falter.  She cuts off her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and rides into Missouri in search of the killers... 

ISBN:  0-679-45074-2

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