Reading guide for Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart X
Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2015, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2016, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. From horse-drawn wagons to carrier pigeons, the norms of 1914 obviously no longer exist today. Talk about the world Constance and her sisters live in, in New Jersey and on their farm. Are there any aspects of life in 1914 you wish had survived?
  2. After Henry Kaufman's first visit to their farm, Constance views her sisters from afar and thinks, "They looked like those fuzzy figures in a picture postcard, frozen in place, staring out from some world that no longer existed" (p. 52). What does Constance mean? What is the world that no longer exists? Why is it gone, and what has replaced it?
  3. What is it about Lucy Blake's story that haunts Constance so? Why do you think she helps her when interfering with Henry Kaufman has already brought a threat to her family?
  4. It's clear that Constance is a unique woman for her time. But Sheriff Heath is also unusual in that he takes the Kopp sisters seriously when no one else would. Why do you think he helps them? Discuss their unlikely friendship. Were you surprised at the conditions under which both the Kopp sisters and Sheriff Heath are forced to pursue justice? What would you have done in their shoes? Did you spot the chemistry between Constance and Sheriff Heath?
  5. At their Wyckoff farm, both Norma and Constance were encouraged to continue their mother's "family tradition" of fear and distrust. Constance remembers how she used to struggle with this as a girl in Brooklyn. Identify some of the ways that the Kopp sisters were taught to protect themselves, and from what. How do you feel about Mother Kopp's instruction? In what ways did the sisters fall in line, and in what ways did they fail to heed her warnings? Do you think they felt justified in ignoring her warnings?
  6. Francis reminds Constance of a day in New York when their mother nearly yanked his arm out of its socket to keep him from picking up an errant onion, spilled on the street by another boy. How is this story emblematic of the way the Kopps--and, perhaps, many women of the era—were taught to view the world? Thinking of this story, what does Constance wish differently for Fleurette, and why?
  7. On page 384, Fleurette suggests that their year of harassment at the hands of Henry Kaufman was also the most interesting year of their lives, and therefore might not have been such a bad thing in the end. She asks her sisters, "Can you honestly say that you wish Henry Kaufman had never run us down on Market Street?" What do you think Constance's answer is? What if it were you—would you agree with Fleurette?
  8. The Kopps' sister-in-law Bessie brings over a picnic near the end of the book that includes, among other delicacies, aspic. Have you ever tried aspic? Would you? What other foods from the past are you happy to see gone?
  9. The author created a signature cocktail for the book called the New Jersey Automobile based on an actual 1910s-era cocktail called the Automobile. What would Norma think about an alcoholic beverage being named after their run-in with Henry Kaufman?
  10. 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?
  11. Did you suspect the family secret? When did you figure it out?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Mariner Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Real-Life Kopp Sisters

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Delayed Rays of a Star
    Delayed Rays of a Star
    by Amanda Lee Koe
    Amanda Lee Koe's Delayed Rays of a Star begins with a late-1920s photo of three women at a party in ...
  • Book Jacket
    Southernmost
    by Silas House
    Southernmost opens with a devastating flood in Cumberland Valley, Tennessee. Could it be divine ...
  • Book Jacket: Fake Like Me
    Fake Like Me
    by Barbara Bourland
    After years of trying to make it as a painter in New York City, the unnamed narrator of Fake Like Me...
  • Book Jacket: Hungry
    Hungry
    by Jeff Gordinier
    Noma, René Redzepi's restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered among the ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt
    by Andrea Bobotis

    A thoughtful and quintessentially Southern debut that unfolds like a magnolia.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.