Etta: Book summary and reviews of Etta by Gerald Kolpan

Etta

by Gerald Kolpan

Etta by Gerald Kolpan X
Etta by Gerald Kolpan
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009
    336 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Beautiful, elusive, and refined, Etta Place captivated the nation at the turn of the last century as she dodged the law with the Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her true identity and fate have remained a mystery that has tantalized historians for decades. Now, for the first time, Gerald Kolpan envisions this remarkable woman’s life in a stunning debut novel.

Kolpan imagines that Etta Place was born Lorinda Jameson, the daughter of a prominent financier, who becomes known as the loveliest of the city’s debutantes when she makes her entrance into Philadelphia society. Though her position in life is already assured, her true calling is on horseback. She can ride as well as any man and handle a rifle even better. But when a tragedy leads to a dramatic reversal of fortune, Lorinda is left orphaned, penniless, homeless, and pursued by the ruthless Black Hand mafia.

Rechristened “Etta Place” to ensure her safety, the young woman travels to the farthest reaches of civilization, working as a “Harvey Girl” waitress in Grand Junction, Colorado. There, fate intervenes once more and she again finds herself on the run from the ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency. But this time she has company. She soon finds herself at the legendary hideout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, where she meets the charismatic Butch Cassidy and the handsome, troubled Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid. Through a series of holdups and heists, Etta and Harry begin an epic and ultimately tragic romance, which will be the greatest of Etta’s life. Then, when Etta meets the young and idealistic Eleanor Roosevelt, her life is changed forever.

Blending a compelling love story, high adventure, and thrilling historical drama, Etta is an electrifying novel. With a sweeping 1900s setting, colorful storytelling, and larger-than-life characters, Etta is debut that is both captivating and unforgettable.

Visit the author's website for extensive background information about Etta including an excerpt, author interview and photos (some fictional, some fact).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Kolpan's snappy storytelling makes it impossible not to want to ride along as the characters careen toward their tragic ends." - Publishers Weekly.

"Kolpan vividly tells a tale that is both outrageous and entertaining, sure to be compared favorably with Larry McMurtry's novels of the Wild West." - Library Journal.

"Starred Review. Few will have any more success resisting Etta than do the many men, women and other critters encountered during her memorable adventures. Great fun and - beneath the hijinks - a surprisingly substantial novel." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Kolpan rescues Etta from second-banana status, providing her with a fictional story to rival that of her more notorious male companions." - Booklist.

"Through Etta's eyes, the reader witnesses great scenes from Western lore, of gunplay and train robberies. Kolpan doesn't allow himself to be constrained by history and offers a romanticized version of the mysterious lady...the well-crafted narrative successfully brings to life an era and a figure lost to time." - The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Author Information

Gerald Kolpan

Gerald Kolpan is an Emmy Award-winning television reporter in Philadelphia. Prior to his television career he wrote for newspapers and magazines nationwide and was a frequent contributor to NPR's All Things Considered.

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