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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice Gray: As Good As It Gets!, July 21, 2010
This review is from: Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray (Paperback)
Janet Zenke Edwards has presented us with the first comprehensive publication of perhaps the most legendary enigma of the Indiana Dunes Country and of Alice Mabel Gray aka Diana of the Dunes. She corrects long held misconceptions about the University of Chicago alumna who sought refuge in the dunes in 1916; an urbane Chicagoan who lived in driftwood shacks amongst the pristine wilderness of an inspiring area of bountiful beauties that in time would become the battleground of most vicious confrontation between environmentalists and industrialists. Does anyone represent that struggle more than Diana of the Dunes, who like our Modern day Diana Princess of Wales, willingly titillated the press sometimes to their own misfortune?

For the first time in as many decades actual family members open their doors and to this author to correct some misinterpretations about Alice. Nearly a century ago Chicago journalists created the enduring persona of Diana of the Dunes with creative writing techniques to sell their stories. Alice died prematurely in 1926 before her liable suit ever went to court. More recent historical publications have devoted only a few pages or paragraphs to "Diana of the Dunes," as have Powell A. Moore "The Calumet Region: Indiana's Last Frontier (1959); James Lane's "City of the Century" (1978) and J. Roland Engel's "Sacred Sands" (1983). Even with Edwards' ten years of research and 157 pages of text and footnotes there is still much to know about Alice. Was her journey to the dunes a suicide mission only to be rescued by the wonder of the dunes? Who was the mysterious lover? Edwards seems to indicate what most likely happened with Alice's lost manuscripts. Her research has given the most in-depth view of Alice Gray's early years and the working-class life of her parents. We also get glimpses into her career and the inequalities for women in an era when they had limited rights.

The dunes forever have been destination for vagabonds, run-a-ways and later artists and those city folk seeking rest and relaxation. To this day the locale harbors colorful eccentrics. It was never a place where you left your doors unlocked sans a gun in the house. In Alice's day there was an entitlement to shoot-to-kill whether you locked your doors or not. Still there is a bit of Alice in all of us who have come here to the Indiana Dunes to reside. She lived the quintessential commune with nature hence why her persona has outlived even the more famous who have inhabited these singing sands of the Indiana Dunes Country.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging history mystery, September 15, 2010
By 
Sarah Wortman (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray (Paperback)
While I usually find historical biographies a bit dense and hard to get through, both the tale and the writing kept me engaged from the first page to the end. In the age of the celebutante, TMZ, reality TV world, it's interesting to see behind a legend that was created when an unconventional woman caught the attention of the press in the age of yellow journalism. I was frankly expecting to learn about a slightly unstable kook, but ended up finding a lot I really loved about Alice and got some insight into a Chicagoland that was when my grandfather lived there. I keep thinking what a great movie this would make. If you liked Devil in the White City, you'll like this too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!, September 14, 2010
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This review is from: Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray (Paperback)
I would highly recommend this book, even if you aren't familiar with the Diana of the Dunes story. It is filled with so much wonderful information about Chicago, the Dunes, woman and life in the early 1900's that anyone will enjoy reading this. My first initial thought after finishing this book was how well crafted the book was. Obviously, the author had more than done her research. Job well done Janet Zenke Edwards. I look forward to reading more of your work!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful history of the Dunes, October 25, 2011
By 
sharon montel (Mishawaka, IN, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray (Paperback)
Since I live in northern Indiana and have many memories of Lake Michigan and Chicago this book was a wonderful read. True story with lots of intrigue and historical details. Have recommended it to many and admire the work the author put into getting all the details.
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Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray
Diana of the Dunes:: The True Story of Alice Gray by Janet Zenke Edwards (Paperback - July 1, 2010)
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