Ahoy there mateys! Though the First Mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do recommend books to each other. He and I both read the following:
girl waits with gun (Amy Stewart)
We read and talked about the book and I enjoyed his viewpoint so I
ordered asked him to write a review. So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew. Please note that I write like I talk and the First Mate writes like he thinks. Hope you enjoy!
From the Captain:
I always wanted to read this book because of the premise that it is historical fiction based on one of the United States’ first female sheriff’s deputies. I listened to the audiobook read by Christina Moore. I truly enjoyed listening to this audiobook but by the end felt that something was missing. I cannot figure out what it is. All I know is that I don’t want to read more of the series.
To be fair, I loved the Kopp sisters trying to make their way through a world hostile to independent women. Constance is the girl mentioned in the title. Though really she is grown and trying to keep her family intact. Her sister Norma is lovely and just wants to work on the farm and be left alone. The little sister Fleurette is actually spoiled and a bit annoying. The three get drawn into the drama when Henry Kaufman, a local mill owner, runs into their buggy with his motorcar. Constance wants him to pay for the damages. Kaufman is a bully and begins harassing the family.
Much of book involves the three women waiting around and being bullied by Kaufman and his thugs with no real consequences. Constance does do a little more in the second half but really there is not a lot of her doing sheriff work. The big “secret” reveal and the missing baby subplot were ultimately not that interesting even if I found Constance and Norma to be delightful. I also liked the actual sheriff fighting for justice in a corrupt world. But the plot felt too drawn out. I appreciated reading this and am glad I satisfied curiosity but cannot say that I can recommend this odd little read. Arrr!
Side note: Ye can read about the real people here and apparently people liked the book enough that there are now seven books in the series!
From the First Mate:
For whatever reason, I always have something of a visceral reaction when reading books that take place in the 1910s. Even the happiest stories in that era feature a harshness that I always fail to associate with the 20th century. Books from previous periods? I have no problem keeping the struggle to survive in mind, but with the 1910s, I’m always surprised. Girl Waits With Gun takes place in 1914, and throughout, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a struggle life was for the characters.
Like many, I was drawn to reading by an intriguing title, a fantastic cover, and that quirky promise that always comes with a talented nonfiction writer turning their talents toward historical fiction. The plot description sounded like a fun tale of strong women pushing their way into a world that didn’t see them as relevant. And, in some ways, it is such a tale. Constance and Norma are both strong and fascinating individuals making their way in the world regardless of what others deem appropriate. And yet, there’s the constant threat hanging over them that their home and lives remain safe simply by caprice.
A less than generous position would be that the plot of Girl Waits With Gun ambles towards a conclusion. It’s a slow-paced novel where we hang out with the characters while mostly nothing happens. That’s not to say it’s boring; these are likable, enjoyable characters. It’s just that I didn’t quite expect the “waits” in the title to be so central to what happens. Though, to be fair, this plot of the novel is probably more realistic and authentic to life than that which I was anticipating.
In the second half, Constance becomes more proactive. Seeing that the police are not going to resolve the situation, she investigates the business dealings of the man giving the Kopp sisters all the trouble. The book picks up here, but it still moves reasonably sedately.
Overall, I’m conflicted by Girl Waits With Gun. It’s well-written, populated with realistic characters, realistic to its time period, and presumably historically accurate. I even enjoyed it enough to try the second book in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, after which I knew I was the problem, not the series. Yet I cannot clearly articulate why the book/series isn’t for me. It’s worth a shot if the summary is intriguing. Others may have better luck
than I did.
Goodreads had this to say about the novel:
A novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.
Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.
To visit the author’s website go to:
Amy Stewart – Author
To buy the novel please visit:
girl waits with gun – Book 1
To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List
5 thoughts on “Tidings of the Crew – girl waits with gun (Amy Stewart)”
Historical fiction is my favorite but I too am not into westerns. Still, sounds good.
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This is not a western-type book at all. The First Mate and I had trouble explaining the oddness of this novel.
x The Captain
This one sounds interesting, but too much like a Western for my personal tastes. Thanks for the review!
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Funny that both comments suggest that it is too like a western. It is not a western at all. Just a weirdly written historical fiction.
x The Captain
That’s amusing. Maybe part of it is the title? I hear “gun” and I’m likely to expect a Western.