Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book review: "Girl Waits with Gun" by Amy Stewart (HFVBT)

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 Constance, Norma and Fleurette are three sisters who live by themselves on a farm in the country in about 1915. I've been trying to line them up with who I think they would be if they were characters in "Little Women". Fleurette is totally the Amy of the group. The youngest, a little spoiled, a little oblivious, likes nice clothes, but isn't without some redemptive points.  Constance (our main narrator) is like Jo. Constance is prepared to do whatever she can to keep her family together and as comfortable as possible. She puts herself out there and has a close male friend spoiler spoiler spoiler.  The only person who doesn't fit my analogy is Norma. A little (lot) gruff, great with animals, trains carrier pigeons, loyal, mostly communicates with said carrier pigeons and angry shakes of her newspaper. Norma is unique.

 An event that starts the book is the finger push that makes the dominoes fall for the rest of the book. The girls are in an accident; an automobile driven by a a-hole hits their horse drawn wagon. The ladies request his name and address so they can invoice him for the damages. They expect him to pay promptly and politely because they think he's a gentleman. Well, bad news. He doesn't and/because he isn't.

This book is more than 400 pages but it reads much much faster. There is all kinds of intrigue: a lost baby, nighttime harassment, a valiant sheriff, and a sewing machine with a loaded history. I'd love a little more backstory about their mother. I think there's a lot of material there to be had. Maybe a prequel, Amy?


Amy Stewart is the author of seven books. Her latest, Girl Waits With Gun, is a novel based on a true story. She has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown, who is a rare book dealer. They own a bookstore called Eureka Books. The store is housed in a classic nineteenth-century Victorian building that Amy very much hopes is haunted.

Stewart has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and–just once–on TLC’s Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award.

For more information visit Amy Stewart’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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