Friday, January 1, 2010

Etta: A Novel

The last book I read in 2009 was:

Etta: A Novel
by Gerald Kolpan

Summary: (From

Beautiful, elusive, and refined, Etta Place captivated the nation at the turn of the last century as she dodged the law with the Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her true identity and fate have remained a mystery that has tantalized historians for decades. Now, for the first time, Gerald Kolpan envisions this remarkable woman’s life in a stunning debut novel.

Kolpan imagines that Etta Place was born Lorinda Jameson, the daughter of a prominent financier, who becomes known as the loveliest of the city’s debutantes when she makes her entrance into Philadelphia society. Though her position in life is already assured, her true calling is on horseback. She can ride as well as any man and handle a rifle even better. But when a tragedy leads to a dramatic reversal of fortune, Lorinda is left orphaned, penniless, homeless, and pursued by the ruthless Black Hand mafia.

Rechristened “Etta Place” to ensure her safety, the young woman travels to the farthest reaches of civilization, working as a “Harvey Girl” waitress in Grand Junction, Colorado. There, fate intervenes once more and she again finds herself on the run from the ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency. But this time she has company. She soon finds herself at the legendary hideout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, where she meets the charismatic Butch Cassidy and the handsome, troubled Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid. Through a series of holdups and heists, Etta and Harry begin an epic and ultimately tragic romance, which will be the greatest of Etta’s life. Then, when Etta meets the young and idealistic Eleanor Roosevelt, her life is changed forever.

There is a ton in this book and I ended up listening to it on audible, despite having a print copy of the ARC. I am a huge fan of adventure novels - especially ones with strong female characters. That is EXACTLY what this book is.. an adventure novel with all sorts of adventures. A historical fiction about Etta Place - a real woman who was part of the Wild Bunch.

I really made up some serious excuses to listen to this novel. I loved the romance, the suspense and really the time period in which this book was written. It's nice to be completely transported into a different time - one where you toted guns, robbed banks, and swindled people out of their money - well, at least some did.

Definitely one of those novels that will stick with you and an adult novel - so beware young readers of the more adult scenes.

5/5 Roses


  1. This one looks so lovely. It reminds me of this old movie I can't remember the name of.

  2. Interesting.... I just might look into this one =)

  3. this sounds so great...nice review :)

  4. Dear Kristen-

    Thank you so much for your kind comments about ETTA.

    If you liked it, please visit the website: It's fun.

    Happy New Year,
    Gerald Kolpan


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