The most delightful and entertaining fiction I’ve read in a while, with an ending that doesn’t drag and drag but that is ultimately perfect, you read to the last drop on the page. Constance Kopp is a thirty-something-year-old spinster living with her two sisters in the NJ countryside in 1914 when their lives are upended after a car crashes into their horse and buggy, shattering it. Henry Kauffman, nominally a silk manufacturer but mostly a hoodlum, is the driver of the reckless car and refuses the $50 invoice that Kopp sends to him to try and recoup her loses in the accident. Things only escalate from there, with bricks being thrown through the farmhouse windows tagged with threatening letters, and an attempt at burning down the house while they are away at the sea shore for one sister’s birthday.
Constance is a tall woman who stands up for herself, actually slamming Kaufmann into a wall at his dye factory when first delivering the invoice after being provoked. She arms herself with a handgun furnished by the sympathetic Sheriff Heath, and she and sister Norma take up target practice in their fields to improve their aim. Younger sister Fleurette (actually Constance’s daughter, but the unwed mother birthed her in secret and Fleurette was adopted by Constance’s mother and brought up among the family as such) is sixteen and a whiz at sewing up outfits and costumes for herself (a wink to her unknown father, the Singer salesman). Norma is older, focused on raising her carrier pigeons and working the farm. Brother Francis worries about his wayward sisters fending for themselves alone in the countryside.
I think I want to be Amy Stewart. She owns a bookstore in Eureka and pumps out historical fiction like this?
Reco’d by The Maggie