Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

cover_girl_waits_with_gun_amy_stewartGirl Waits With Gun is set in New Jersey, and is based on newspaper accounts of one Constance Kopp and her struggle to see justice served after local hooligans ram her horse and buggy with one of those dangerous newfangled automobiles.

After being a bit disappointed in a few of my recent reads, I’m pleased to say that I liked everything about Girl Waits With Gun. The book incorporates historical newspaper coverage about the events from papers around the tri-state area, and it’s a fun, well-written read – clever, witty, and moving, as well.

11231914TrentonTimes
A Kopp sisters newspaper clipping from the Trenton Times, 11/23/1914.

Constance and her sisters, Norma and Fleurette, live on an isolated farm in rural Bergen County, outside of Paterson, NJ. If the Kopp sisters are not regarded as downright eccentric, they would definitely be considered a bit unconventional, especially by 1914 standards. The action starts when their horse and buggy is involved in a hit-and-run accident with Henry Kaufman, both head of Kaufman Silk Dyeing Company in Paterson, and a nefarious ne’er-do-well. When Constance attempts to recoup the cost of damages to her buggy, Kaufman lets loose the first volley in an escalating war between them, and neither party is willing to budge an inch. The adventure that ensues includes well-armed ladies, missing children, hidden identities and scandalous family secrets, and a satisfying ending that includes an unexpected payoff. There is even a suggestion of more Kopp sisters stories to come!

Constance, Norma, and Fleurette are eminently likeable; their voices each distinct and interesting. The story moves along at a lovely pace, propelled by snippets from the news, and the action is tempered with well-wrought character development. By the end of Girl Waits With Gun, I was really charmed by these characters, and enjoyed spending time with them; I’m tremendously pleased I’ll get the chance to visit with them again in future volumes.

Girl Waits With Gun Stewart, Amy.
F STE McNaughton – Level 3