Before the Alamo

A Tejana's Story

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
296 Pages
Reviewed on 02/22/2022
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Author Biography

My background is varied: I spent my first 3 years on a ranch, my high-school years on a farm, graduated magna cum laude from college, went to grad school, met and married Kurt Weinberg, a brilliant professor and writer, taught French and Spanish literature and history for 36 years, chaired departments and international studies programs, wrote four scholarly books about the French 16th century and 11 historical novels., including Before the Alamo, a Tejana's Story. As a resident of San Antonio, it seemed a shame that Texans had no idea what happened in Texas before the famous battle. I set out to correct that. I hope a few people will read it and learn about the important history that happened before the Alamo!

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Before the Alamo: A Tejana's Story is a work of fiction in the historical and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is aimed at the mature adult reading audience, contains one scene of rape that some readers may find distressing, and was penned by author Florence Byham Weinberg. As the title suggests, we find ourselves in the nineteenth century with protagonist Emilia Altamirano, who is caught between different cultures and political divides because of her mixed heritage and her father’s reputation as a member of the Mexican Royalist Army. As Emilia tries to forge her own path in the world as a nurse, the Battle of the Alamo rages and she is called to the battlefield. But whichever way things turn out, her future is anything but secure.

I always enjoy learning more about history from all kinds of sources, but it’s especially rewarding when it’s through a truly engrossing and enthralling work of historical fiction such as this. One of the things I especially enjoyed about author Florence Byham Weinberg’s writing was her sense of pacing, which delivers a well-researched and well thought out novel that steadily grows more and more intense under the surface until you hardly know which way to turn in the exciting twists of the later plot points. The work is beautifully narrated with empathy for the central character’s plight, but it’s also never cloying and really celebrates Emilia for her strength and her marvelous skillset too. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Before the Alamo to any reader looking to explore this period of history, but who also wants a heartfelt and well-penned drama to enjoy too.