Thursday, September 22, 2016

Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen

About the Book
Title: Twain’s End
Author: Lynn Cullen
Genre: Historical

(Gallery Books; June 7, 2016; Trade Paperback; $16.00)

Now in paperback for the first time from the national bestselling author of Mrs. Poe, Lynn Cullen, comes TWAIN’S END, a fictional imagining of America’s iconic writer Mark Twain and the woman who knew him too well. 

In March of 1909, Mark Twain cheerfully blessed the wedding of his private secretary, Isabel V. Lyon, and  his business manager, Ralph Ashcroft. 
One month later, he fired both, wrote a ferocious 429-page rant about the pair, and then—with his daughter, Clara Clemens—slandered Isabel in the newspapers, erasing her nearly seven years of devoted service to their family.

In TWAIN’S END, Lynn Cullen “cleverly spins a mysterious, dark, tale” (Booklist)
about the tangled relationship between Twain and Lyon. A silenced woman, Isabel’s loyal service and innocence were not enough to combat the slander, and she has gone down in history as the villainess who swindled Twain in his final years. She never rebutted Twain’s claims, never spoke badly of the man she called “The King,” and kept her silence until she died in 1958. How did Lyon go from being the beloved secretary who ran Twain’s life to a woman he was determined to destroy? 

TWAIN’S END explains. 

As you are reading this remarkable work, there are certain things you must remind yourself. While based on facts, this is still a work of fiction. The author is allowed to fill in some blanks with creative license. Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens are not exactly the same person. Twain is a pen name and Clemens was not the same person as his more public persona.  Clemens refers to Twain as his "twin" and as such, they have differences.
This book is very controversial to Mark Twain fans.  These events take place far before the electronic media days where gossip and scandal are available wide spread at a moment's notice. Still, the journalists were always looking for that sort of "blue news" to share. 

The author's talent draws you deeply into each scene. You are close enough to reach out and touch the action. She pulls no punches and gives us a detailed and complex story. We see from many points of view, so many circumstances that would be understood differently in more modern times.

Samuel Clemens and Isabel Lyon's lives are not the only ones in the spotlight.
Shadows are cast over other well known figures of the times. Behaviors they try to hide are illuminated.

If you want a book that will shake you up and make you think, this is an author to discover.

Author Bio

Lynn Cullen lives in Atlanta surrounded by her large family, and like Mark Twain, enjoys being bossed around by cats. Follow Lynn Cullen on Facebook or visit  



  1. Sounds like it would be a good book club read - lots of discussion.

  2. Sounds like it would be a good book club read - lots of discussion.


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