Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher

In Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher, Lenore Hart weaves historical fiction and gentle romance into Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with the caveat that the heroine, Becky Thatcher, is not the sniveling girl Twain portrayed her to be. The story begins with a grown up Thatcher, married to Tom's cousin Sid Hopkins caring for two children with Hannibal, Missouri facing the effects of a country on the brink of civil war. Though satisfied with her life, Becky has fond recollections of her childhood days – in flashback scenes the reader is brought to a fun alternate narration of Tom Sawyer - and still nurses secret affections for her first sweetheart.

Hart’s novel plunges into adventure as the grown up Becky tries to save her husband from the war and convinces her family to follow the gold rush out to the Wild West. Along the way Samuel Clemens (the writer who adopts the pen name Mark Twain), Huck Finn, Jesse James, and, of course, Tom Sawyer make their way into Becky’s tale enhancing the feeling that the book is a true account of a fictional character’s life. Hart writes a believable story while maintaining a sort of southern charm that keeps it true to the spirit Twain’s novels.

I really enjoyed this book.  As a fan of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Becky seemed to me the book that could’ve been written if Mark Twain was a woman. I was enamored with the characters by the very first page and would recommend the book to those that love Twain’s writing as well as any fans of historical romance. At times sweet, funny, tender, sad, poignant and exciting, Becky:The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher earns a rightful place on a shelf near classics that inspired it.

5 Response to "Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher"

  1. Enbrethiliel says:
    May 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM


    After all the spin-offs which present the "untold stories" of virtually every Jane Austen character, this book about Becky Thatcher is such a breath of fresh air!

    I'm both disappointed and glad that Lenore Hart doesn't make Becky end up with Tom. Or does she, only later in this book? =P LOL!

    I guess what I mean to say is that since Becky isn't a very remarkable character in Tom Sawyer, and one whom we only see through Tom's not-so-perceptive eyes, I'm glad that she gets her own turn as a lead character without being overshadowed by him. But since I never really saw Tom with another girl, I'm a bit sad, too, that she didn't marry him.

  2. lisa :) says:
    May 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Well, now I'm not sure if I should confess that my current read is an alternate view of P&P from Lydia Bennet's point of view... (Free e-book and guilty pleasure, I couldn't say no!!)

    But Becky definitely was a fresh take on the "Retold" genre - and I was also glad that the voice tried to stay true to Twain's characterizations rather than spinning it as Becky Thatcher: Zombie Bounty Hunter or some other paranormal version.

    I purposely don't want to reveal what does or doesn't happen between Becky & Tom. If you want to know how that plays out, you'll just have to read it! :)

  3. Enbrethiliel says:
    May 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM


    Ah, no worries! I might not care for Austen spin-offs myself, but I don't mind them. =) A Twain spin-off, on the other hand, is something new!

    And I appreciate your reticence when it comes to spoilers, even as I detect a mischievous edge in your tone as you allude to them. Hmmmm . . . I have a feeling I'll be very happy with this book! ;-)

  4. Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) says:
    May 18, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I've heard mention of this book here and there. It does sound good and I am a fan of Mark Twain. I'll have to look this one up. I'm hoping the library has it in.

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  5. Unknown says:
    December 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Becky Thatcher was a fine girl and an interesting woman.I am in eighth grade and our class is doing a presentation of a book character that we drew out of a jar.And guess who I got?Becky Thatcher!I plan on presenting her as an old woman in a nursing home, but I'm wondering if I should include any information on her from this book in the presentation.I can't wait to see what I'll end up doing, I'll inform the crowd and entertain at the same time!Wish me luck! :D

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