Publisher's Note:  

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

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.

Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart

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Overall Review:  

For a while I was sure I did not want to read this book. It was set in the wrong time period, I don't care about women sheriffs, I wasn't looking for a historical novel--any excuse I could find, I was ready to give it. But then one of my relatives compared it to the Flavia De Luce novels, and I rethought my decision. I am so glad I did. This book is full of strong women, good characters (and bad), and it also has a healthy dose of history, with lots of the things that occur being based on fact.

The Kopp sisters seem innocent enough at the beginning of this book, but by the end, they had me floored by their wit and wisdom--especially the main character, Constance. I was thinking this would be a book that would have a fun, simple story and outcome, but Girl Waits with Gun is a little bit more than that. It's a book with a story of power over "the man". Who is "the man", you might ask?--An authority figure that is power hungry, at least in this scenario. Constance Kopp and her sisters astounded me by how smart they were, and how eager they were to see wrong put to right.  If this sort of feminine strength could be displayed in 1914, then what excuse do women of today have to back down?

Although this is definitely an adult novel, I am pleased to say that the language was mild (see below content review), and the character apologized to the women-folk for it. There is a good amount of violence, but none of it too scary or overbearing (again see below). Given the relatively low content level, I think a young teen could read this book without their parent fearing for their innocence, which is not something that can often be said of adult books nowadays. With all of this being said, I encourage you to seek out this book. It is quite enjoyable!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 mild obscenity.

Violence/Gore:  An assassination is mentioned to occur; a character dies, no details are given; a vehicle crash occurs, a character is injured slightly, some blood is mentioned briefly; a parent is mentioned to be dead; a woman is violent with a man and they get physical, a trickle of blood is mentioned; a character is reported to have been found dead, no detail; a window is broken by a brick that holds a threatening note (this scenario occurs several times); a man hits a girl and she sports bruises; a child is reported to be missing; a threat is made to a family about burning them or locking them up; a minor girl is shot at by a man; white slavery (sex slavery) is mentioned and threatened about to women; a fire is mentioned to burn a building and there is a question about whether anyone was in the building or not; a character is mentioned to have been found dead in prison; a house is ransacked and the family that lives there returns to find their possessions ruined, a bonfire was built by the ransackers to try to burn the house down; shots are fired in defense by a family being harassed; harassment occurs in several different instances; a report is made of several crashes that occurs in bad weather; threats of death and abduction are made to females by men; a woman backs a man up against a wall and threatens him in defense.

Sex/Nudity:  Sex references are made rudely pertaining to women; a young woman is mentioned to have been "ruined" by a man, and ends up pregnant; a young woman is unmarried and has a child; a woman recalls being kissed, her dress unbuttoned, and becoming pregnant; an abortion is implied but no detail is given.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a loved one, threats, child abandonment, pregnancy out of wedlock, abortion, gender discrimination.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character mentions being drugged; a character is under the influence of alcohol; whiskey is drunk by adults; a man smokes a pipe; men smoke cigarettes.

Reviewed By Lydia
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