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"A masterpiece." - R.O. Kwon
The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.
In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.
The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada's life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.
She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she's willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.
Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you’ve ever pined for an old-fashioned adventure about characters who rarely have a voice in traditional Westerns, Anna North’s pulse-pounding novel will light your fire. Ada is 17 when her town threatens to hang her as a witch for the crime of not bearing a child after a year of marriage. Backed into a corner, Ada befriends the leader of the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, an outlaw group that’s a safe haven for outcast women and nonbinary people. North clearly has a ton of affection for classic Westerns like True Grit—and it turns out that feminist and LGBTQ+ issues fit perfectly into a genre that’s always been about the struggles of misfits and outsiders. We loved the novel’s defiantly custom-breaking characters. Ada isn’t just a compelling heroine, she’s a darn good bandit who stole our heart in no time flat.
North's knockout latest (after The Life and Death of Sophie Stark) chronicles the travails of a midwife's daughter who joins a group of female and nonbinary outlaws near the end of the 19th century. Eighteen-year-old newlywed Ada, unable to conceive a child, fears she will be accused of witchcraft, a fate common to the women in her Dakota territory community. After Ada's former friend has a miscarriage and accuses Ada of casting a spell on her, Ada's mother helps her flee to a nunnery, where a Sister suggests she join a nearby gang known as Hole in the Wall. Ada becomes a "doctor" to the motley group led by the Kid (to whom no gender pronouns are attributed " Not he, not she,' Elzy said. The Kid is just The Kid'"). The outlaws plan to create a town where nonconforming people can belong. The tense plot takes many turns through Ada's increasingly violent adventures with the gang, beginning with a botched holdup of a wagon laden with gold. As the novel barrels toward a surprise ending, it's further strengthened by Ada's voice and reflections, which preserve a sense of immediacy: "distances that had once seemed vast were now so small that my enemies could cross them in an instant." The characters' struggles for gender nonconformity and LGBTQ rights are tenderly and beautifully conveyed. This feminist western parable is impossible to put down.
Well-written Quick Read
Quick read that kept me wanting more. A little disappointed with the ending
a good, fast read. some things frustrated me, and some things warmed me.
I wished it had been longer, but maybe the rest is for another book.
I'll keep my eyes peeled and my gun holstered...