The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell Summary and Reviews

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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Book Summary

At a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women, Lucy Lobdell boldly set forth to earn men's wages. Lucy Lobdell did all of these things in a personal quest to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. In this riveting historical novel, William Klaber captures the life of a brave woman who saw well beyond her era.

This is the fictionalized account of Lucy's foray into the world of men and her inward journey to a new sexual identity. It is her promised memoir as hear and recorded a century later by William Klaber, an upstream neighbor. Meticulously researched and told with compassion and respect, this is historical fiction at its best.

First published by Greenleaf Book Group in 2013

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"By serving as Lucy's voice - not to mention doing what was obviously a great deal of historical research - the author becomes her advocate and encourages readers to do the same. A unique and important book." - Publishers Weekly

"A well-crafted 'memoir' of an unforgettable person, with plenty of questions about freedom, love and responsibility." - Kirkus

"Beautifully told, by the time I finished I felt I knew not only Lucy, but had a far better understanding of the America of her times. A first class novel about an truly unforgettable woman." - Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country

"William Klaber has created a complicated and heartbreaking heroine, or do I mean hero? Whether Lucy is living as a man or a woman, working as a music teacher or a hired gun, I was utterly absorbed in her adventures. A wonderful debut." - Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street and The Flight of Gemma Hardy

This information about The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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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.

...41 more reader reviews

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Author Information

William Klaber Author Biography

William Klaber is a part-time journalist. He lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short way upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago.

The farmhouse he bought with his wife, Jean, in 1980 had a history with Lucy's legend, but he didn't know that till years later when he sat down for breakfast with a longtime local historian who told him Lucy's story and showed him a leather satchel filled with recollections, newspaper articles, and letters about her, gathered over the years. In this collection was a copy of a self-written account of Lucy's early life that the historian had found in an unmarked box in a library basement.

Despite his continued searching, the historian never found the memoir that Lucy had promised to write. Explaining that he had always ...

... Full Biography
Link to William Klaber's Website

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