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Girl Waits with Gun
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There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Created: 05/12/16

Replies: 26

Posted May. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

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There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?


Posted May. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I liked Constance and came to care about the rest of her family. Constance was smart, brave and feisty. I felt I understood her motivations. I don't think likability is so important but I do think being invested in a characters story is very important to me. That's why I'm interested in reading the sequel.


Posted May. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SusanC.

Join Date: 03/25/13

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I agree with "Best Martin" that Constance was a tremendous Heroine. Her 2 sisters (spoiler alert - 1 sister and 1 daughter) were book-ends to her feisty, smart personality. The Older Sister - Norma was practical and more of an animal person than a people person. Her sister/daughter, Fleurette, was very annoying - childish and like most young teens, very self-involved - so much so that she brought more trouble to her family than was truly necessary. The brother was a typical brother of 3 sisters-a caretaker and worry wort about the female members of his family. I loved the Kopp family - foils and all. Even though this took place just prior to the US entrance into WWI, the family behaved in a very similar way that a family of orphans might behave today.


Posted May. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I've read some excellently novels (from a literary standpoint) where the characters were not likable, and while I admired those books, I didn't really enjoy reading them. Two recent examples are Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume and Eileen by Ottessa Moshdegh -- both have few characters, and a pathological main character, provoking curiosity but not warmth, to show us very clearly how a person "gets that way." Powerful, but not inspiring. I suppose it depends on what an author wants readers to experience. If he or she wants readers to fully enter the story, and come away feeling richer for that, then I think likability matters; likable doesn't mean perfect, but I need to connect with a character in a positive way at least some of the time. I found all the Kopp sisters likable, though each had her faults. Constance, of course, stands out, with her passion for justice and her determination to protect her family and her independence, to the point of taking extreme risks. Norma is hardworking and down to earth, sometimes a bit too much, but she too seems to love her family and to have an appealing disregard for what a woman of 1914 was "supposed" to do with her life; she's not afraid to be herself. Fleurette has a zest for life, an artistic flair, and a courage of her own; if at times she seems self-absorbed, that is understandable given her youth and her sheltered life. She's still capable of caring for others -- her reaction to Lucy's child disappearing, her making outfits for Bobby, for example. And I do think they liked each other, loved each other, taking great risks to stick together as well as many little details that evidenced their daily pleasure in one another. Fleurette trying to find something as purple as pickled cabbage for Norma's breakfast... their card games... Norma's choosing news articles to send by carrier pigeon that she thought would "instruct" her sisters...


Posted May. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I think that the sisters loved each other...but didn't necessarily like one another. If they had not been relatives, I don't think that they would have tolerated each other. I don't have to like a character to enjoy the book...sometimes they are much more human by the "unlikeable" aspects that are depicted.


Posted May. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judithj

Join Date: 04/15/15

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I admired Constance for confronting Henry Kaufman. She was ahead of her time as far as being independent and getting a job to support herself and her sisters. I thought Fleurette was a bit of an airhead and that Norma seemed grumpy. I think they loved each other but, like any siblings, had their squabbles. They needed each other so they needed to get along. Their only other option seemed to be moving in with their brother and family, which they didn't want to do. They enjoyed their independence at the farm.


Posted May. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

As with real people, some characters were more likeable than others. I liked all the sisters--would I have been friends with them? Well, Constance most probably--she is like me--going to get things sorted out and resolved fairly no matter how much time and effort it takes. Norma and I would probably get along okay but she is a bit too negative--and she probably would be just fine with that, since she was happiest alone with her animals. If we had a common interest it would be the animals and I liked that. Having taught middle and high school for years, Fleurette was like many of my students, although I would have found her a bit more spoilt than I'd like. She would be a handful in class and there would be little support from home when trying to settle her down a bit. So, while the sisters are dealing with her she was fine, but leave her home when you come to visit, please.
Liked the brother and his family a lot a thought he was a good man, caring and willing to shelter and protect his sisters. His wife was a doll--she would have welcomed three women into her home--glad, for her sake, that didn't happen.
Very much taken with the Sheriff but not sure what is going on with him in regards to Constance--hope it is merely professional platonic friendship--which is a wonderful relationship to have in addition to the marital relationship


Posted May. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tillieh

Join Date: 04/28/11

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I wouldn't call it so much likability with this family. I admire Constance's courage and tenacity, but often wanted to shake Fleurette. I thought Norma showed courage with the issue of Constance and the baby at the time, but then retreated into her own world (I wonder if the sewing machine salesman approached her too). I'm eager to continue the series to see how the characters develop.


Posted May. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Except for Mother Kopp, I felt the entire Kopp family was likable in a quirky way. You have to agree to accept them for their circumstances at the beginning and then learn how they came to be who they are. I do believe the sisters cared very deeply for each other, as only siblings can, even during the times of disagreement and discord. Norma and Francis had shown unconditional love to Constance, even to disobeying their mother, which would not have been easy. But when there is unconditional love and concern, liking the person at a particular moment really doesn't matter.


Posted May. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Yes, I found the sisters to each be likable...but more important than that, I like that they were each a bit feisty & independent. I enjoy reading stories that involve strong smart females. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.


Posted May. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurief

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 25

RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Yes, the Kopp sisters were definitely likable - a bit quirky -but likeable. This is what keeps you up late at night reading the book - what will they get into next.


Posted May. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I enjoyed reading about them, I do not know if that means likable. In think they lived alone with their mother to really know how to have friends. I wanted to know what was going to happen to all of them in the future. I have a couple of times stopped reading a book because I did not care what happened to the characters


Posted May. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I found them to be very likable. Each sister was unique and realistic because they had good traits and not so good traits. The loving and caring for each other was very strong and kept each of them centered.


Posted May. 22, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Norma wasn't incredibly likable, but Constance & Fleurette were! However, Norma definitely had some positive traits - she searched for Constance, and loved animals.
I think they liked each other. They loved each other, and protected each other! I do think they were a bit lonely and isolated, but they definitely loved each other.


Posted May. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SusanC.

Join Date: 03/25/13

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

It doesn't bother me if I don't like the characters. As a matter of fact it can be interesting if I dislike characters. It drives me to see what happens to them. I did not like Fleurette. I found her foolish and actually a bit of a danger to her sisters. Norma was tough but practical and because of that I respected her. I truly loved Constance - she was so ahead of her time. I think Norma tolerated her "niece" Fleurette but Fleurette exasperated her. Constance obviously loved and protected Fleurette. She respected Norma's opinion and as a result probably liked her as well.


Posted May. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I liked all the sisters, although Norma could be a little prickly at times. And I do think they genuinely liked each other. Although Flaurette was Constance's child, Norma was also very caring and motherly to her. It does matter to me whether or not I like the characters. If I don't like them enough to care about what happens to them it's not usually a book I enjoy or even want to finish sometimes.


Posted May. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Likable? Maybe Constance. She's the kind of plucky person I could easily like. The other two? Believable but not my kind of women. The person I found most likable was the author. I just thoroughly liked her "voice", the rhythm and cadence of her storytelling really appealed to me. On the strength of her style I'd snap up books by her regardless of topic.


Posted May. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

DonnaC - in which case you're in luck as, in addition to her current two books about the Kopp Sisters, Amy Stewart is also the author of six nonfiction books on "the perils and pleasures of the natural world" (to quote her website), including The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants .
With her husband, she is also owner of Eureka Books in Eureka, California. Her website is a veritable font of information and very charmingly done. I recommend a visit!

http://www.amystewart.com/


Posted May. 25, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

The characters were well developed and communicated what family was like in those days. Fleurette was indeed annoying but so typical!!The sisters hung together extremely well being threatened in an era of female repression. As to their "likability"--Constance was likable enough, she seemed to be the locus of reason and tenacity.


Posted May. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Characters needn't be likable. If they are well developed they can - and should - have personality we can understand and so place them in our visualization of the story. If a reader "likes" all the characters how can the reader possibly get excited about a story? Even flaws in the "good guys" add depth to storytelling. Without tension, where's the thrill? For example, the sheriff is married so the connection between him and Charlotte is electrically charged by its being forbidden .


Posted May. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I agree with lesleyf that characters needn't be likable if they are developed enough that at least we can understand them, and perhaps we might feel sympathy. But I disagree that a reader can't get excited by a story if all of the characters are likable. Likable doesn't mean without flaws, nor does it erase differences in motivations and perspectives, so (as in life) likable characters can still be at odds with one another, to generate the tension in a novel.


Posted May. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I found all three Kopp sisters likable in their own way. My favorite was Constance, but it was through her voice that the story was told, so we got to know her best. We were privy to her thoughts, and her reasons for acting as she did were explained through those thoughts. Every other character was viewed through Constance's eyes. So we got to know the characters through Constance's eyes and her experience with them. I think it's very likely that had the story (or parts of the story) been told from another character's viewpoint, I might feel differently. People's motivations and behaviors are often misunderstood by others.


Posted Jun. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Sometimes I love to hate the villian! And sometimes its easy to see the gold in the villian and like him/her in spite of actions. I dont think Stewart painted a likeable picture of Kauffman, which is a bit of a miss, I think. He really had no redeeming qualities. On the other hand, he wasnt necessarily evil, just lacked values with the wealth to get away with it. I would have enjoyed more depth on him I think....so I could be passionate about him, one way or the other!


Posted Jun. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
edie

Join Date: 04/05/12

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Reading through other responses, I realized we have more than one definition of “a likable character,” all of which are perfectly acceptable. Some of us like our heroes and heroines to be admirable holding to high moral standards or exemplary behavior, others look for characters they can identify with because of shared tastes or world views, and others want their characters to be compelling and capable of making the reader care what happens to them, often to the point of staying up way past bedtime to read just one more chapter.

I fall into the last group and using that definition found the Kopp sisters and their champion, Sheriff Heath immensely likeable. I cared about Constance because she managed to convey, without a trace of self-pity or justification, how difficult it was for her to always hide her love for her daughter, to live with a longing for the romance she had only briefly tasted, and to face a future that had been determined by youthful error—one lived in quiet and boring seclusion devoid of adventure. The most poignant passages in the novel come when Constance lets down her guard and gives us even the smallest glimpse of these deeper feelings: how it felt to have Sheriff Heath’s warm hand clasping her ungloved one, how she responded by gripping that hand too tightly, and the “inexplicable sorrow and longing” she felt when he released her hand and walked away. Or her reflection on the legacy she hopes to pass on to her daughter, “...if I could give her one silent gift from a mother she didn’t know she had, it would be this: the realization that we have to be a part of the world in which we live. We don’t scurry away when we’re in trouble, or when someone else is.”

Fleurette is compelling and likeable because, with that energy-charged imagination, you never know what she’ll invent or do next. I still laugh at the Spanish parrots who spoke only French and a little Dutch and her flamboyant outfits. But most importantly, for all her teenage pouting and little rebellions, she shows signs of maturing. During the trial when she is being questioned about the risks Constance took to protect her, she looks at Constance with a new-found appreciation, as if she is realizing for the first time, how much she is loved. I expect she’ll grow up one day and write her own lively account of their adventures. Even stolid Norma balanced her moralizing with a dry wit. I loved her glee at finding the right headline to get her point across and the delight she took in learning how to shoot.

Needless to say, I have already pre-ordered "Lady Cop Makes Trouble."


Posted Jun. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Excellent post, Edie. I couldn't agree more.


Posted Jun. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

Wow Edie. Thanks for you post. It was so well written and really spoke to how I felt and feel. Also, the joy you expressed of the characters unfolding was something I experienced too.


Posted Jun. 22, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

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RE: There's a lot of talk these days about characters' likability. Would you call the Kopp sisters likable? Do you think they even liked each other? Does it matter?

I don't think one has to like a character to enjoy a book. I liked Constance,me specially her strong desire for a hood outcome for her family. I'm not sure about the sisters. Norma seemed a side character and Flaurette was rather a silly self interested character. You certainly wouldn't want them all to be the same. It would be interesting to learn how accurate this portrayal is.


Pegh

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