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Book Review: ‘Last Woman Standing,’ A Novel of Mrs. Wyatt Earp by Thelma Adams

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28090852As America settled and people made their way to the west for the lure of gold and land available to begin new lives, some of those people began to make names for themselves. In Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams, we meet the woman behind one of the most famous of men, Wyatt Earp. Josephine Marcus is an amazing woman, one that others either disliked intensely or wanted to emulate.

She did not come about marrying in the normal way. She was the cosseted daughter of Jewish immigrants but with a mind of her own. Running away with a friend, she met a lawman, one who has decided she is what he needs in his life. After returning home, she is enticed by the offer of marriage to this famous lawman, Johnny Behan. Yet his schemes are nefarious as are his ways with women, and as she leaves the shelter of her family, and moves to Arizona to get married, she finds she is just another of his women.

Angry and hurt she is much too humiliated to let her family know that they were right all along about Behan. Trying everything in her power, she attempts to solidify the relationship and move the marriage forward. However, while waiting for this long awaited marriage, she finds herself drawn to another man. Wyatt Earp is another strong young man and a colleague of Johnny’s.

There is something about this man that draws her. Is it his intensity, or the way he looks at her? She tries to put him out of her mind and focus on what she is after and that is marriage to the man of her dreams. Soon though she begins the see the real many behind her dream and he is not what she thought. However, by now it no longer concerns her heart, as while her lawman played his games, her heart drew her to the only man for her.

This is the story of how Josephine Marcus became Mrs. Wyatt Earp and her own story of the life of Wyatt Earp and his brothers as she too helped to shape the history of the west. She is amazing and her reminisces are strong and exciting, leaving you with that longing of having missed something very important.

Adams takes us into history with the unlikely vessel of a woman’s memories. She brings you a woman with flawed thinking, but brave and with strong convictions. She wraps the history throughout the work and captures your imagination with the strength and bravado required of the times. She gives us both the good and the bad, leaving you hurt and angry at the situations at times, but also helps you to understand the making of the legend of the Earps.

If you enjoy history and romance, danger and deceit, you will find this is a terrific book for your library. Learning more of the past through such a venue keeps you reading and searching to the very end. Adams has given us a strong and passionate story filled with historical facts, and you will find it hard to put this book down.

This would be a great book for a reading or discussion group, with a great deal of interest to them both.


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About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.