Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Summer Reading, July 27, 2016

It's been a couple of weeks since I've blogged about my reading due to a decision to only talk about books I've enjoyed and can recommend. (Aside to one of my fellow authors: "Witty" banter can be overdone and can't take the place of character or plot development!) But I've just finished a book I can recommend, Girl Waits With Gun, the first in a blossoming series about the real-life Kopp sisters. Author Amy Stewart bases her novel on newspaper articles that were published as the result of a 1914 accident between the three sisters, who were riding in their buggy, and a car driven by a wealthy factory owner who plowed into them. When the eldest sister, thirty-five-year-old Constance, tries to claim $50 in damages from the factory owner, Henry Kaufman, she sets off a string of nasty persecutions from Kaufman and his gang of hoodlums. Attacks escalate from rocks with threatening messages being hurled through the sisters' bedroom windows in the middle of the night, to shots being fired at the house, to attempted arson. Isolated on a small farm outside of Paterson, New Jersey, the sisters enlist the help of Sheriff Heath, a stalwart, dedicated, and forward-thinking lawman who develops feelings for Constance, but it is through her own efforts to solve the case as well as to help a young factory worker whose infant son, fathered by Kaufman, has disappeared, that retribution is made.

Although the story starts a bit slowly, I soon became enamoured with the sisters. Constance, tall for a woman, strong, and resourceful, seems to be waiting for her life to begin and has a big secret. Norma, the middle sister, never wants to leave the farm and spends her spare time training homing pigeons to carry cut-out newspaper headlines back to her sisters. Fleurette, a teenager, is the spoiled, artistic family beauty who dramatizes everything and can't wait to escape the isolation of their lives. I also enjoyed the historical detail, the homeyness of the sisters' lives, and the sensibility of women who are trying to act like ladies while dealing with some very unladylike problems and a judicial system that fails them.

There is a second book in the series, Lady Copp Makes Trouble (another actual newspaper headline, I assume), that I'm looking forward to reading. But check out Girl Waits With Gun first.


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