Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

The title says it all—Constance Kopp is the girl, and the sheriff gives her the gun to defend her family from the bullying of a powerful silk-factory owner. Amy Stewart has plucked a true story from the headlines of the day and imagined the details which take it into the realm of fiction. During this time period the automobile is replacing the buggy, and factory owners are exploiting the poor. The Kopp family, caught in the middle of these major changes, is comprised of three women, living on a remote farm. Having hidden their family secrets from the world, they are thrust into the spotlight when Constance insists that the silk-factory owner reimburse her for the damages to their buggy occasioned when he and his rowdy friends crashed into them threatening their safety. Only through the support of the local sheriff do they get any help; society is not sympathetic toward uppity women, and Constance and her sisters are too much the individualists to fit in Paterson, New Jersey society. Women may be the heroes of the book but the sheriff stands out as a brave man who not only changes the life of Constance Kopp but opens doors for women in the future. Girl Waits with Gun is a page-turner and a rousing read for anyone who has felt "different." – Wendy Foster Leigh