skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
skygiants ([personal profile] skygiants) wrote2017-04-15 09:02 am
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The title of Amy Stewart's Girl Waits With Gun is rather (intentionally, I think) misleading - not only is it not actually particularly hijinks-y, but Our Heroine Constance Kopp is a grown adult woman in her mid-thirties, which is honestly one of the reasons the book stood out to me.

Based On A True Story, Girl Waits With Gun kicks off when stoic six-foot-tall Constance and her two sisters (Norma, congenitally disapproving adult pigeon-fancier; Fleurette, theatrical teen fashionista) have an unfortunate street encounter with a band of local toughs, who are practicing Reckless Driving. Constance attempts to Demand Compensation. Local Toughs Retaliate by setting up an increasing campaign of threats and harassment, specifically targeting Fleurette. Constance and her sisters switch their efforts towards attempting to get local law enforcement to take all this seriously enough to do anything about it, which is unsurprisingly as challenging in 1914 as today.

Meanwhile, all this excitement starts Constance off on a course of introspection and reinvention regarding the sisters' struggling finances, their deeply retired and isolated life - a course of action taken to protect a family secret decades before, and never altered - and the possibilities open for women in 1914 to find an existence that's both self-sufficient and satisfying. Some inkling of the outcome of all this can perhaps be gleaned from the fact that the second book of Constance's adventures is titled Lady Cop Makes Trouble.

Teen Girl Shakes Off Convention stories, while often enjoyable, are not particularly rare. Adult Woman Re-Evaluates Life And Makes More Satisfying Choices is a different subgenre and one I always appreciate on the occasions that I find it, especially when it revolves primarily around her relationship with other women.

The sisters do have one Law Enforcement Male Ally, Sheriff Heath. He is progressive and ethical and he and Constance clearly have kind of a pining mutual respect Thing going on, and also he is married to an unsympathetic woman who does not approve of his choices or enjoy the Mrs. Sheriff lifestyle at all. I made some faces about this in the first book. Lady Cop Makes Trouble starts to complicate this, and make it clear that Mrs. Heath has some legitimate reasons to be deeply unhappy and dissatisfied; I'm hoping this is a trend that continues in future books.
sovay: (I Claudius)

[personal profile] sovay 2017-04-15 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)
their deeply retired and isolated life - a course of action taken to protect a family secret decades before, and never altered

Did it work? (I think what I am really asking is: was this a reasonable decision under the circumstances that overstayed its welcome, or was this a misguided idea from the start?)

make it clear that Mrs. Heath has some legitimate reasons to be deeply unhappy and dissatisfied

May I ask?
sovay: (Morell: quizzical)

[personal profile] sovay 2017-04-16 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
the sheriff's family lives in an apartment in the jail and comes in for loud and vocal critique every time the sheriff does something his constituents don't like.

Yeah, that sounds terrible!

Maybe the happy compromise will involve them living quasi-separately?