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Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart X
Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2015, 416 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2016, 448 pages

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, one strong-willed woman, with the backing of her sisters, proves she doesn't need a man to make her way in life.

Girl Waits With Gun, a historical fiction novel based on the first woman deputy sheriff in the United States (see 'Beyond the Book'), hit the target for many BookBrowse First Impression reviewers with 19 out of 22 of them giving the book 4 or 5 stars.

A story of sisters struck a chord
Sometimes you choose your profession, sometimes your profession chooses you. Such is the case in this entertaining and enjoyable read by Amy Stewart. The Kopp sisters, driving to town in their buggy in 1914 are hit by a motorcar driven by Henry Kaufman, a silk factory owner. He is a man of means used to getting his way. When Constance Kopp, the oldest sister, sends him an invoice for repairs, all hell breaks loose (Francine E).

I thoroughly immersed myself in this intriguing and delightful story of the Kopp sisters, each vulnerable yet strong in her own right. I particularly loved the oldest, Constance, who with true grit, courage, cleverness, resourcefulness and independence, meets the challenges that threaten her family (Linda N).

An intriguing slice of history whets appetite for more
Girl Waits with Gun is the fictionalized story of one of the first women deputies in the country. Constance is imposing, strong-willed, and ready to take on obstacles that lesser women or men would never tackle. She must defend her family and home from aggressive and brutal men, and she will not back down. Based on newspaper accounts and family interviews, Amy Stewart replays history and creates a gripping story along the way (Becky M).

I was very surprised when I read in the acknowledgements that the story was based on true events. I was thrilled when I read that it would be a series (Dianne S). The writing is bright, crisp, and conversational. I am looking for a sequel. A woman like Constance will surely have more adventures as a deputy sheriff (Mary P).

Readers appreciated the window into women's struggles...
Since it was a time in our country when a woman's place was in the home, the Kopp ladies are indeed an anomaly. Constance is strong-willed and imposing, ready to take on obstacles lesser ladies would not tackle (Carol N).

A well-researched work of historical fiction that also exposes the beginnings of the long road ahead for women who desired to be independent (Barbara Z). The early twentieth century was not a welcome place for women on their own. Not having a man meant no protection from the numerous dangers, either real or perceived, that could be encountered (Patricia L). Although a bit dragged out in places, worth reading for a view of what our women ancestors had to endure (Donna H).

...and the vibrant characters complemented by vivid writing
Stewart blends humor with the time period in a wonderful way. Ladies were ladies, but they could also be independent and feisty. Her characters are well drawn and she creates suspense since you don't know what is going to happen next (Joyce W). The writing was wonderful, the characters came alive and I could "see" the farm where the women lived (Anna R).

This was a refreshing, enjoyable peek into what a woman's world was like at the turn of the century. Stewart's descriptions brought to life the streets of chaos and turmoil from the new age of industry and all its consequences. One could almost taste the acrid air within the factories and the character development allowed the reader to feel them (Duane F).

Needs editing?
I could easily see 50-100 pages being edited out of this book and it being a much stronger work. It felt like the same thing kept happening over and over and it became tiresome (Wendy W).

Overall readers gave Girl Waits With Gun their stamp of approval...
This is a good choice for book clubs, lovers of historical fiction, and any reader who loves seeing difficult challenges met by strong female protagonists (Linda N). I would recommend this novel for historical fiction lovers, young adults and book clubs and people from New Jersey! (Beverly D).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in September 2015, and has been updated for the May 2016 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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Beyond the Book:
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