Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Etta - Gerald Kolpan

Take yourself back in time to the ear of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with this fun and energetic novel from debut author Gerald Kolpan.

Next to nothing is known about Etta Place, the woman who was presumed to be the girlfriend of Harry Longabaugh, more commonly known as the Sundance Kid. At the start of the book, we are shown a picture of Etta Place and Harry Longabaugh which was taken in 1902, prior to their trip to South America.

Etta Place was said to have spoken in an educated manner, was an excellent horsewoman and a superb shot with a rifle. Using these scant facts, Kolpan has imagined a story for Etta Place. Here she is an improverished gentlewoman who is forced to assume an alternate identity who then gets caught up in events beyond her control.

Kolpan uses the interesting technique of mixing traditional writing with newspaper articles, journal entries, letters and novellas (all imagined of course) to vividly sketch the story of Etta Place.

While I did feel that there was something lacking in the character of Etta Place (she remained a bit too pure and wholesome throughout) there is no doubt that Kolpan has created a fun, fast-paced and thrilling read.

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