Historical Fiction, Reviews, Woman's Fiction

Review: Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit

Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit (Kopp Sisters, #4)Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit by Amy Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some things never change and some things change all too slowly. That’s the message I got from the latest installment of Amy Stewart’s brilliant Kopp Sisters series. In Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit Constance is unwillingly caught in the middle of a contentious political campaign as every move she makes in her job as the sole female deputy in Hackensack, NJ in 1916 reflects on the Sherriff’s run for Congress as well as the candidate looking to fill his position as Sherriff. In the midst of it all, she works to help her inmates as well as a woman committed to the asylum by her husband. It is a time when ALL of the power belongs to men with little understanding of women’s unique issue and even less desire to understand them. It is also a time of mounting fear and suspicion as World War I rages in Europe and the US debates whether to join the Allies. In spite of the 100+ years that have passed, some of the themes seem all too familiar.
As ever, Stewart seamlessly blends history with fiction while staying true to her richly developed characters. There is a bit more politics and a bit less chasing bad guys than in the first two books but the story is fantastic, leaving you wanting to know what happens next. Luckily, the fifth book in the series is due out next year!

I know that by now I’m repeating myself but I LOVE these books so if you enjoy empowering stories about strong women and historical fiction, read the entire series and get hooked like me.

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Historical Fiction, Reviews

Review: When Winter Comes

When Winter ComesWhen Winter Comes by V.A. Shannon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I never thought I’d choose to read a book about the Donner Party but my love of history and historical fiction had me signing up for an ARC of When Winter Comes from NetGalley. I understand that it is a work a fiction meant to make one think about a moment of American history that in our time has become more of a punchline than the cautionary tale and analysis of human nature and the will to survive that it should be. No one will ever know exactly what happened because like everyone, the survivors have their own demons, coping methods, and prejudices that skew the retellings but Shannon’s descriptive writing puts the reader on that mountain with the pioneers. I found, at times, that it moved slowly but then so did the journey and other times I was simply loath to read on, knowing what was coming but unsure of how descriptive the crucial passages would be. When Winter Comes is a good, interesting read even if the main character, as likable as she is, is just a bit blah.

If you enjoy When Winter Comes and other stories from the United States’s formative years, I recommend Larry Bjornson’s excellent Wide Open which centers on Wild Bill Hickok’s later years when he was Marhsal of Abilene, Kansas and, like When Winter Comes is narrated from the viewpoint of a teenager.

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