Bromley Cross Library readers group in Bolton very kindly invited us to celebrate World Book Day with them on Thursday 2nd March.
The book up for discussion was “Girl Waits With Gun” by Amy Stewart, which is also this month’s choice on BBC Radio Manchester’s book group. Tune in at 12pm on Friday March 31st to join in with or listen to the discussion.
“Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold.
She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared”
The book got mixed reviews, which made for a very lively discussion! Most of us really enjoyed it; in fact one reader almost missed their tram stop because they couldn’t put it down. Constance wasn’t the only sibling to break the mold either; her sisters were also extraordinarily brave and self sufficient. They were all very strong characters, especially considering the period, and the pigeonholes which these ladies were expected to stay in both by society and by their own family. The writing was incredibly descriptive and made us feel very grateful for our modern conveniences (such as warm houses and eggs in boxes, rather than having to fight your way out into a freezing winter to fix the shed roof and collect the eggs yourself!).
There was humour in the novel, particularly with reference to Singer sewing machine salesmen, although some of us found it hard to identify with or like the characters, and a couple of us couldn’t see where the promised hilarity was at all. It was generally agreed though, that the women were incredibly tough in their refusal to be bowed by a bully at a time when they would not have been expected to stand up to a rich man even once, let alone over a period of a couple of years while they suffered a campaign of intimidation.
Thank you so much to Mel, Sammy and the Bromley Cross readers group for inviting us to share in such an inspiring read and to do something booky!
You can visit the web site to find out more about Constance’s world (the book is based on a true story and the title comes from newspaper clippings from the time)and see more photographs of the characters.
If you’d like to read a copy of the book, please contact Fiona on 0161 253 7510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org