THE WOMAN WHO LOVED JESSE JAMES
An interesting, quite fictional look at the life of the woman who loved Jesse James and became his wife. It touches briefly on the horrors visited on the South after the Civil War and presents a rose-colored view of a hero as well as thief and probable murderer who also loved and cared for his family.
Zeralda Mimms, minister’s daughter, never dreamed she’d fall in love with her cousin, Jesse James. Meeting him as adults at her sister’s wedding, and sharing a kiss, keeps him in her thoughts. He leaves to fight with the Confederacy, but returns wounded when the war is over, to Zee’s home where he can safely mend. There she helps nurse him and they fall in love. Through their nine-year engagement, Zee realizes that Jesse has become a thief and perhaps a murderer, yet she still loves him and marries him. Though she hopes their marriage and subsequent children will have Jesse leaving his life of crime, it is not to be. (BELL BRIDGE, Mar., 406 pp., $15.95)