The author of True Women uses her grandmother's unfinished autobiography to depict the resilience and gritty determination of a Texas prairie woman. In the late 1870s, when Laura Woods is seven, her mother fights off a marauding Apache party and Laura gets her first, intriguing glimpse of ""white Indian"" Herman Lehmann, who was kidnapped and raised in the tribe. When Laura is a teenager, she falls in love with Herman, but the affair is secret and fleeting, and Laura takes a place in society by marrying Peter Woods, the scion of a prominent family. Laura hopes that Peter will make a career in government, an ambition that she craves herself. But it is her friend Rebekah Baines Johnson who will become the wife of a congressman and mother of a president, and Laura realizes she must work behind the scenes if she is ever to put her family on the map. While raising her brood of seven children, she campaigns for Teddy Roosevelt, lobbies for the suffragette cause and seemingly touches nearly every event in Texas history. Though the dramatic events of Laura's life are more colorful than many a made-up saga, the narrative, while brisk and interesting, lacks the vitality of well-wrought fiction. Yet Laura Woods's story is a reminder that, regardless of their absence from ballots and voting booths, women played an essential part in shaping the country's history. 100,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.).