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The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell

by William Klaber

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber X
The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber
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  • Laura L. (St. Paul, MN)
    A woman ahead of her time.
    Meet Lucy Ann Lobdell. The world doesn't really know who she is yet and but she is poised to take the world by storm. This is a fictionalized true story about a woman who chooses to live life on her terms .

    Lucy Ann Lobdell has a daughter and is not making enough money to support her. She doesn't want to re-marry and work for free the rest of her life and her future prospects look dim. It is 1855 and women have little or no rights, stuck in their positions, second to men. Lucy makes a bold decision one day. She wear her brothers old britches, cuts off her hair and decides to head out the door as a man looking for work. She changes her name to Joseph Lobdell.

    She grew up in New York, moved to Pennsylvania as Joseph and then to Minnesota before it became a state. Trouble seemed to follow Joseph. All she wanted was to live her life in peace and raise horses and maybe hope that someone would love her. Yet most people did not accept her for who she was, a person way ahead of her time.

    Klaber has written an amazing book of historical fiction. The characters, based on real people, are vibrant and leap off the page. There is a fiery passion in Lucy to life an authentic life and Klaber portrays her struggles and the worlds reaction to Lucy with precision and respect. Quite simply, Klaber has written a page turner.

    I loved this book and I predict it will be one of the best books I read in 2015.
    I cannot stop thinking about Joseph and her courageous life and I'm telling everyone I know to read it.
  • Florence Ouzts, Oxford, MS.
    The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell
    The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is one of the most engaging books that I have read. Told in the first person of Lucy Ann Lobdell, the author's descriptive prose is written with such sensitivity, it brought me closely in touch with the character in such a way that her pain and suffering touched my soul. I could not get Lucy's physical and emotional abuse out of my mind.
    Once the book was set aside, her mental anguish still lingered in my mind afterward.
    William Klaber's comment, "Since the entire story is told in Lucy's words, it was always her voice that rattled around my head, giving the sensation, at least, that my imagination had been captured by her spirit and not the other way round." cannot be denied by the reader. There is, indeed, a spiritual connection with Lucy, that shines through in the writers dialogue.
    To read of the terrible abuse and mistreatment that females were subjected to during the 1800s was enlightening as well as the horrible conditions and treatment available to the mentally ill.
    Lucy Ann Lobdell's is a story of one woman's search for meaning and sexual identity, in a world that held so little regard for women. Despite the abuse and mistreatment, she persevered and did not abandon her convictions. I never heard of Lucy Lobdell until I read this book, and I am all the richer. I will never forget Lucy Ann Lobdell. Five stars for William Klaber.
  • Wendy W. (Ann Arbor, MI)
    We've come a long way, baby...or have we?
    As a former history major, I found this book fascinating. Approaching this true story from a fictional perspective, really made it come to life for me. Anyone with an interest in LGBT history will enjoy this book. This story is proof that the battle to be accepted and respected started long before the Stonewall Riots. We owe it to Lucy/Joseph to bear witness and remember. I could see how this book could be of great interest to book clubs. It raises questions and challenges beliefs.It is relevant to a 21st century audience, many of whom unfortunately still struggle with Women's Rights, LGBT Rights and marriage equality.
  • Jill S. (Eagle, ID)
    The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell
    Although this gets off to a slow start, do not put this book down!!! Lucy who sets off to be a 'man' in the mid-1900's, this book reveals the trials and prejudices as she explores her sexuality. Although her identity is revealed, one can rejoice in her fortitude. This is a great book for those who enjoy historical ficton. A great book for book clubs.....
  • Dona H. (Muskegon, MI)
    Lucy's rebellion
    Although this fictional memoir gets off to a slow start, its story becomes more and more compelling. The plight of unmarried women in the 19th century was sad indeed, no way to live independently and earn a decent wage, they often were forced into brutal marriage or disgrace. Lucy was brave enough to try living as a man, only to go from one frightening situation to a worse one. I thought the role of the church in condemning her was particularly sad. This historical fiction based on a real woman's life made me think of the portrayal of Sarah Grimke's struggles in the same time period as told in "The Invention of Wings." There is much here for a book group to discuss.
  • Beth P. (Rensselaer, NY)
    Her world is difficult, but she is a heroine
    I just finished reading this book and I didn't want it to end! I fell in love with the main character, Miss Lucy Lobdell, or Joseph, as she is known as later. We talk about gays and lesbians openly now, but what was it like in the 1800's? What if a woman were to want the options that men had, or even more, a relationship with another woman. This author takes you to the nineteenth century in upstate New York and other states in a whirlwind story of such a woman. I loved Lucy right away, and was mesmerized by her story. The author clearly did a lot of research for this book. Even if you are not a fan of historical novels, I am not, and I just loved this book.
  • Becky H. (Chicago, IL)
    A "lost" life
    This was such an interesting story and yet so sad. Lucy Ann, who lived most of her life as a man, was a remarkable person. Abandoned by an abusive husband and left with a small daughter to care for, she returned "home" to an unforgiving family. After donning men's clothing and cutting her hair she left her daughter behind to establish herself as a "proper wage earner" in a society that did not look kindly on divorce or even spinsterhood.

    Klaber's well researched volume relates Lucy Ann's life with sympathy and sensitivity. He deals with her misfortunes when discovered to be a woman dressing as a man and a woman living as husband with another woman. The late 1800's were not good years for a non-conforming woman.
    Book groups will find a wealth of topics for discussion – our treatment of non-conformists, religion, woman's roles, men's roles, mothers who desert their children, "fallen" women, lesbians, mental illness, insane asylums and many others.
    5 of 5 stars


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