Windle's Historical Novel

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 9:36 am

By Lois Wauson

uthor Joyce Woods Windle’s roots run deep through Texas.

Six generations of her family helped make history in the Lone Star state, and she chronicles their stories in her three books, “True Women,” “Hill Country” and “Will’s War.” The novels are based on family tales passed down through the generations and Windle’s extensive research of her ancestors.

Since my family roots are also firmly buried in Texas, Windle’s books have always appealed to me.

“True Women” is a wonderful book for any history buff. It is based on true happenings in Texas history, such as the Runaway Scrape when settlers fled from Antonio López de Santa Ana and his attempt to conquer Texas in 1836. Windle describes the flight in detail, from the spring rains that fell in sheets making river crossings terrifying to women floundering in waist-deep mud with babies in their arms.

“Hill Country,” Windle’s second book, is the story of her grandmother, Laura Hoge Woods, who grew up in Blanco County and married Peter Woods Jr. Her close friend was Rebekah Baines Johnson, mother of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Windle weaves historical facts, including little-known stories about the Johnson family, into fascinating fiction.

“Will’s War” is based on the life of Windle’s grandfather, Will Bergfield, who was accused of treason in 1917 in the midst of the anti-German sentiment that ran rampant in small-town Texas during World War 1. This book is full of courtroom drama that many attorneys may find interesting.

I had a chance to meet Windle, who lives in El Paso, in May when I attended her mother’s 100th birthday celebration in Seguin. She told me she has a new novel in the works that she has been writing for the past few years.

She also autographed copies of her books for me, writing, “To Lois, a true Texas Woman” on the flyleaves. I was truly honored to be included in that special group of women with Windle and her ancestors.

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