Our first book of 2016 was Girl Waits With Gun. We were expecting somewhat of a mystery, but got a historical novel about three sisters in return. The opinions on the book were very divided, so we’ll try to share some other books you might want to read as well or instead. We also have some discussion questions at the end in case you’re reading it with your own book club.
Girl Waits With Gun was Amy Stewart’s first novel, but definitely not her first book. She writes non-fiction most of the time and has books about booze, flowers, plants, bugs and other wonderful things. She’s most known for her book The Drunken Botanist, which is a book about the botanic history of many of our favorite drinks. Besides history and knowledge, the book also contains a bunch of cocktail recipes, just to keep it fun!
Maybe Girl Waits With Gun wasn’t as much the mystery we were expecting, but we’re still going to recommend books that are known for their excitement and lady sleuths. Suzanne told us the books reminded her a lot of Phillip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries, which is a series about a young girl with an unconventional childhood. Instead of being a lady, her father raises her to shoot guns and run a business, but when he dies under mysterious, Sally finds herself caught up in a dangerous mystery.
When asked what books Amy Stewart would recommend herself, she answers the Claire deWitt series by Sara Gran, so we’re going with that as well. Claire deWitt became a detective at a young age after finding her sleuth-bible Détection. Now in her mid-thirties, she finds herself solving mysteries that people don’t want solved and getting into a whole lot of trouble.
Possible Discussion Questions:
– Do you think the book is a mystery or historical fiction (or both) and does it matter in how you perceive the novel?
– Early in the novel, the big ‘family secret’ gets revealed. Did you see this coming and did you like or dislike that it came out so early in the novel?
– The book is based on many true events, but Stewart chose to fictionalize parts of her novel as well. What do you think about this?
– At the end, Fleurette states that their lives have became interesting because of Henry Kaufman. The hell he put them through, made their lives worth living. What are your thoughts on this?