Wednesday 3 June 2015

The Whip by Karen Kondazian

4 out of 5 stars
The Whip is “inspired by the true story of Charlie Parkhurst”. I love reading historical fiction, and thoroughly enjoyed the author’s take on this famous stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo, discovered on death to be a woman (all true). The title says “inspired by”, which implies that this has a large degree of fiction, which it does, and was well told. Critics have asked for more accurate history, but I disagree – the fiction part is also important, and here a story was created out of a remarkable life.

Karen Kondazian has a beautiful writing style. Her sense of place and setting evokes vivid images, and it is no wonder that there are a number of fans who are suggesting this be made into a movie.

The characters are well constructed, and there is plenty of heart-wrenching action, which make this a page turner of note. I was gaping and heartbroken, and enthralled and outraged within the space of a few chapters.

The idea of deceiving the “man’s world” that a woman finds herself in is not exactly feminism, but does leave room for thoughtful debate, and is still - appallingly – current in today’s context.

The narration on the Audible version of this was outstanding – intimate and dramatic. Well done Robin Weigert.

Although classified as historical fiction, I challenge you to read this book even if you don’t usually read this genre – you may be inspired to read more. I would love to see more from this author.

ISBN: 9781601823021

You may also like Lila by Marilynne Robinson or The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark.

This book features in my recent best reads

Here are all my reviews and recommendations.

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