In this intelligently drawn portrait of the complicated, volatile, and fiery man who was Mark Twain, Cullen (The Creation of Eve) explores the complex, tortured relationship between Twain and his secretary Isabel Lyon. Initially meeting over a game of cards years earlier, Lyon is eventually hired on as secretary to Twain’s wife but over time […]
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The extraordinary relationship between the popular, complicated author Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, and his longtime secretary Isabel Lyon is wonderfully reimagined in this absorbing novel. Cullen (Mrs. Poe) depicts an immensely talented and virile, yet crude, hot-tempered, self-centered late-in-life Samuel, whose own children fear him and who remains tormented by his childhood with slave-owning […]
Twain’s End is an exquisitely nuanced portrayal of the American icon and the woman who dared to love him. With superb attention to detail, and deep understanding and care for her protagonists, Lynn Cullen brings this deliciously complex story to life, delivering everything we expect in a modern masterpiece.
Every room radiates with deliciously calibrated tension and hidden desires in Twain’s End. It is in its psychological truths that the novel succeeds most brilliantly, revealing the inevitable wounds in a relationship between a famous person and an ordinary one, and what happens when the balance of power changes. A riveting read.
We’re riveted as Twain comes alive — faults and all — but in the end we’re captured and captivated by him. Heartbreaking, passionate, profoundly interesting and readable. Cullen has once again jettisoned herself to another time and place and delivered historical fiction fans with an utterly fascinating read.
Lynn Cullen is both a masterful writer and literary detective. Meticulous research and keen curiosity led her to piece together a fascinating account of the last seven years of Mark Twain’s life. Cullen shows Mark Twain ‘warts and all,’ yet we—and the utterly sympathetic Isabel Lyon—still love his irascible spirit, a spirit that nearly leaps […]
Twain’s End is an unflinching, clear-eyed view into the last years of one of American’s most beloved authors. Ms. Cullen delves deep and gives us a glimpse into the pain that shaped the mask worn by Samuel Clemens. Brilliant and insightful. I hated to reach the end.
With Twain’s End, Lynn Cullen has once again proven herself a master of historical fiction… Cullen is an outstanding writer, and Twain’s End is an exceptional book.
The utterly fascinating and heartbreaking story of the aging literary lion Mark Twain and his intelligent, beautiful, devoted secretary Isabel who loved and understood him… a rich novel which will sweep you into a remarkable world.
The breadth of research and faithfulness to the subjects is evident in Twain’s End. With clarity and honesty, Cullen resurrects one of America’s most complicated and well-known writers and his intimates in vivid, fascinating, and sometimes shocking ways. Twain’s End is more than a study in character; it is a cautionary tale of the spoils […]