Book Review : Girl Waits With Gun
Kopp Sisters #1
By Amy Stewart
Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
One of my favorite parts of Girl Waits With Gun are the actual headlines from newspaper articles in the early 1900’s. I had initially thought I was reading a purely fictional account and was ready for some outrageous events. I was only partly wrong; it’s only partly fictional. I love how courageous Constance is in the defense of her family. At times the sentence structure is choppy which is a bothersome. I felt like the novel also showed a unique time in history, and particularly how industrialists of the 1900’s took advantage of their workers.
I was shocked by a twist in the story, but can see why it was so important and integral to the entire tale. And, it was a true twist in the sister’s lives. After reading Stewart’s novel I am looking forward to reading more about the Kopp sisters and their interesting lives.
I was fascinated with the forensics and questioned if fingerprinting was part of police work in 1914. I found this reference which identifies a timeline for fingerprint use.
For more details about the actual Kopp sisters I went to the author’s site, http://www.amystewart.com/characters/and enjoyed seeing more about this fascinating family and other people associated with the case. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Constance and Fleurette
Constance said, “Some women prefer to stay at home and take care of the house. Let them. There are plenty who like that kind of work enough to do it. Others want something to do that will take them out among people and affairs. A woman should have the right to do any sort of work she wants to, provided she can do it.”
There are several newspaper articles about Fleurette getting into car accidents as a young woman! In later years, she sewed patterns for Vogue, and worked as a private tailor, making entire wardrobes for well-to-do women.
Here are a few quotes to show the flavor of the writing:
“It made me wonder how often I, too, had let Fleurette fool me.” (p. 71)
“As a parting gift the Singer man left me his sample machine.” (p. 108)
“‘Because – ‘ I turned at last to face her. It took everything I had to look her in the eyes. ‘Because what if no one had gone looking for me?'” (p. 114)
“I squared my stance and aimed the barrel straight at that rock, squinting at the notch and the narrow half-moon at the end of the barrel that were my guides, and fired. I don’t think I hit the rock, but I managed to keep the gun level.” (p. 170-171)
“‘A girl can’t just vanish.’
‘Oh, girls can vanish,’ Norma said without looking up at us.” (p.233)
“I sighed and shook my head. ‘And I’m afraid the kidnapping threats have only gone to her head. She thinks she’s quite the desirable little prize. I don’t know what we’re going to do with her.’
‘Keep her on the farm as long as you can,’ he said.
‘I don’t know how much longer that will be. But for today-‘” (p.264)
“Lucy didn’t stop spinning and I began to wonder if she was ever going to let the boy come up for air. They formed their own planet in the middle of the room, rotating around a sun that only they could see.” (p.359)
3.5out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you liked this one try These Is My Words by Nancy Turner, The Help by Katherine Stockett and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.