Girl Waits with Gun
By Amy Stewart
(408 pages, fiction, 2015)
In the summer of 1914, Constance Kopp and her two sisters, Norma and Fleurette, are riding in their horse-drawn buggy to Paterson, New Jersey, when a motorcar crashes into them! The car topples their buggy, pining Fleurette underneath it. They free her, and she has minor injuries, but the buggy is in pieces. The car’s owner Henry Kaufman refuses to pay for damages even though it was clearly his fault. Kaufman and his hooligan friends begin to terrorize the Kopp sisters, who live alone on a farm outside of town. The men throw bricks through their windows with threatening letters attached, and shoot at the women and their house!
But Constance, who is a substantial six feet tall, and her sister Norma get guns and learn how to shoot them. Fleurette is the pretty and much-loved baby of the family who is normally more interested in creating fashions and putting on skits. She is frightened but also fascinated by the events and all the attention they are getting. Life is usually rather dull on the farm. But not now! Their sister Norma is a funny and stubborn character who is handy around the farm, and very involved in training her carrier pigeons. And she loves showing her sisters outlandish newspaper headlines.
The year stretches on. Constance keeps asking for repayment of the damages and Kaufman keeps refusing. But the sisters are made of strong stuff. They are determined to keep going and live by themselves on the family farm.
At turns exciting, gritty and funny this book is based on true events and the real Kopp sisters. The Kopp sisters are remarkable characters. The headline “Girl Waits with Gun” was an actual headline in the Philadelphia Sun on November 23, 1914.
I can’t wait to read more about the unusual and charming Kopp sisters. And I am in luck because there are seven Kopp sister novels in all!
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