I picked up Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart on a whim at Book Expo, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a wonderful, fun, romp of a novel. Grab this one before a trip or vacation, or read it when you need a dose of adventure and/or girl power.
A brief plot summary: Constance Kopp and her two sisters live by themselves on a farm, just outside the big factory and industrial cities in northern New Jersey. Despite their brother’s pleading to come live with him and his family after their mother dies, they prefer to stay independent, even though their finances are rapidly decreasing. One afternoon in the summer of 1914 an automobile crashes into their buggy, causing moderate injuries and changing their lives forever. They’ve been hit by a drunken silk-factory owner, who is not keen on owning up to the accident or making amends to the ladies. This event transforms Constance, the eldest sister, into a total badass. She stands up for her family, but ends up putting them at risk as the silk factory owner sets his gang loose on their farm. She doesn’t back down, though, and the novel follows the sisters through their eventful year.
6 things to love about Girl Waits With Gun:
- It reads like the origin story of Phryne Fisher. Ok, yes, Phryne Fisher already has an origin story that they cover in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, but this could be an alternate history, if she was born in America instead of Australia. Constance Kopp’s fearlessness and determination, as well as the richly described historical setting, evoke the spirit of one of my favorite TV shows in the very best way.
- It can be challenging to find a light-hearted novel featuring female characters that does not center around a male romance figure. This one passes the Bechdel test in a major way.
- If you love historical fiction, you will appreciate the way the setting seems to effortlessly create itself around you while reading.
- It’s well written and un-put-down-able.
- It’s based on a true story. Somehow I missed seeing this (written on the top of the back cover) until I was done reading the novel. I enjoyed the novel without this information, but I felt so giddy after I discovered that it was based on a real story – this incredible lady actually existed! How awesome. Amy Stewart’s website provides more information about the real life people who inspired the novel.
- There are carrier pigeons.
Author Photo Credit: Delightful Eye Photography
FTC Disclosure: I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher.