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"The Twain Shall Meet is the most amazing event in Twainiana since the discovery of the first half of the manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a Hollywood attic in 1991 after it had been missing for more than a century. Anyone who writes a book like this had better be brave -- and right. Co-authors Susan Bailey and Deborah Gosselin know they face a hard audience, and they have met the challenge well". - The Mark Twain Forum
This is truly one of the most fascinating books I have read, It contains love, mystery, intrigue, and shows a driving force that you can accomplish anything you set out to accomplish. This is proven by the Susan Bailey story. I happen to be one of those person's in the second grade with Susan Bailey. I did not see her again for many many years. The path that she took to find her Mother is truly incredible. The book should be made into a motion picture. This book contains things of interest to the average American Household. It has it all. I truly enjoyed the book and have recommended to friends that they should go out and buy it. Those purchasing the book agree with me. Susan, thanks for sharing. - Don Dixon
For a couple of amateurs, Deb Gosselin and Susan Bailey sure put together a good read. The duel nature of their book, inter-splicing the fascinating lives of Clara and Nina Gabrilowitsch with Susan's search for her parentage and Deb's research as a genealogist, is sheer magic. I went through this book in the course of one day, as I couldn't put it down. And, contrary to my usual custom, I didn't read the end until I came to it. Good job, ladies!! - Lorraine Dias Herbon
I should begin this review by stating that I have been a Twain aficionado for as long as I've been reading and that one of the authors (Deb Gosselin) is a friend of mine. So I was predisposed to like this book. What I did not expect was that I would LOVE this book. Not only is the subject matter endlessly fascinating, but also the writing and research skills on display far exceeded even my high expectations.
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. - A.K. Rankin
THE TWAIN SHALL MEET is a compelling story -- part history, part biography, part memoir, part mystery, part genetic science. It's the first book I've read in a long time that I couldn't put down! - Joanne L. Yeck
I finished reading this book in less than two days. It is a fascinating human interest story, written from the points of view of two women, each of whom suspects she may be related to Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain. It reads like a mystery novel, with suspense building as, toward the end of the book, bits of DNA clues are revealed.
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. - Migwar