- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 6 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1499799497
- ISBN-13: 978-1499799491
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 599 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,293,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Twain Shall Meet: The Mysterious Legacy of Samuel L. Clemens' Granddaughter, Nina Clemens Gabrilowitsch Paperback – Jun 6 2014
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About the Author
Susan Madeline Bailey Susan grew up in Europe, Florida, and Illinois. Her history is chronicled in the manuscript of The Twain Shall Meet, but there is more to her background and personality. As a child, she was painfully shy, but her inhibitions vanished when she stepped onto a stage. A widow with three children and several grandchildren, she has written poetry most of her life but this is her first book. She graduated from Stetson University in 1969 with a B.A. in Speech and Education. Susan recently returned to the stage, and continues to promote music for children by serving on the board of a youth orchestra. When she’s not seeking a standing ovation, she enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren, and a wealth of friends. She swims, bikes, and is a voracious traveler. Deborah Lynn Gosselin Deb’s genealogical research experience spans nearly 40 years and she is happiest when following the threads that unravel a mystery. As owner of Ancestry Helper, a genealogy consulting firm, she has worked on solving family history mysteries all over the US and Canada. Her professional genealogy background has also included serving as an expert with Ancestry.com’s Hire an Expert service, and consulting with a nationwide firm that traces heirs for probate cases. A self-described Renaissance woman, Deb also holds degrees in psychology, educational counseling, and engineering. She presently lives in her native state of Michigan where she works as an engineer. She enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her large, wonderful, rambunctious family.
Top customer reviews
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The writers' bias is to be expected. While I m rooting for her, there are also many unsubstantiated leaps that seem to exclude other logical possibilities. And the book really needs a professional editor. I give it grace for being created by someone whose background is very difficult. It seems extraordinary that she should be able to connect some dots so late in life. Her story is interesting on its own, she made a success despite all her challenges and it s nice to see a success story that doesn't reek of money and power but of accomplishment, understanding and creative satisfaction.
But it still makes me long for someone objective to see other possibilities, such as in Nina s mysterious European tours in the fall of 1936, especially as the Second World War was unfolding. That doesn t seem to enter into the discussion. Jewish families had to be on hyper alert so just that should be mined for reasons her family put her off from visiting, and were obscure in their communications, never mind other issues. Just because the US wasnt in it, doesnt mean the war didnt exist.
I suspect there are some personality disorders( narcissism?) going on that also could explain some choices and disconnects. Clara strikes me as pretty stuck on herself. And there are errors presented as fact( first one I noticed was having Sam Clemens on the boat back to Suzy with Livy and Clara). Still it s an important story and I hope she finds the DNA and family connections. I for one wonder if Clara had been kinder to her father, perhaps he might have lived to know and protect his granddaughter.
I look forward to reading more of this story, like many I am a life long Twainophile. Never get enough.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Several times while I was with her she would get so upset or frustrated I thought she might not finish it, but I would remind her how important it would be to her family and her peace of mind if she did, and she would rally forth. More to the credit of her inner strength of character than my encouragement I dare say, as she finished it well after I moved to Charleston.
I sincerely hope someone reads this that has something from or about Nina that shows her acknowledgment of her wonderful daughter. That would mean the world to Susan and all that love her.
If you are an empathetic person this little book will take you on a wonderful emotional adventure, if you are not, it will help you become a more feeling and involved person. As you can not know Susan's story without feeling for her!!
Susan and Deb, who came together quite by chance, have given us a look inside a family whose final chapter everyone thought had been written long ago. There's no doubt in my mind that Susan is, indeed, Samuel Clemens' great granddaughter. If the painstaking research had not been sufficient to convince me, Susan's wonderful way with words certainly would have. The chapters dealing with her early years were both touching and inspirational. Long before you reach the end of the book, you will find yourself rooting for this strong, determined woman to succeed in her quest to discover her true parentage.
You will find yourself equally mesmerized by Deb's account of how she navigated her way through the strands of Clemens family history to arrive at the truth of Susan's birth. If you're like me and have not done any serious genealogical research yourself, you will come away with a new respect for those who know how to unravel the tangled web of relationships.
The book is a short (maybe because I simply couldn't put it down), easy read, but that speaks to the care and effort the authors put into its writing. They give the reader enough technical detail for a full appreciation of the enormity of their task but not so many that they become overwhelming. At the same time, the reader is always aware of how personal this search was for both women.
This book has something for everyone. Twain fans will love it, genealogists will love it. And anyone who's ever had to overcome difficult personal circumstances and go on to live a full, meaningful life will adore it.
Disclaimer # 1: I am an adoptee who succeeded in finding my own birth parents, so this sort of quest almost always interests me.
Disclaimer # 2: My (adoptive) Mom was a friend of Nina Gabrilowitsch (they met at Barnard College while students,) so I have a personal interest in the outcome of this particular quest.