I intended to post this review yesterday....and clearly that didn't happen. Better late than never, right? Check out my thoughts of The Whip, by Karen Kondazian and find out why I recommend this title, especially for book clubs! Be sure to watch the coordinating video on my Book Tube channel!
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Pages: 302 (Paperback)
Source: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Review Date: March 10, 2015
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man in the old west.
As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer.
Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her.
Charley was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.
First let me start with saying this was a very good read for my book club. It was a controversial story and there were tons of dramatic situations to discuss. We talked about the time period of when this story takes place, character motives, social norms, and more.
This is a fiction story based on a real person. I found the premise of the story creative and it seemed to bring a vague real story to fictional life. The story has tons of serious situations going on, slavery, oppression of women, rape, abuse, killing, etc.
This story is not for those that are adverse to books that are more serious in nature. The Whip is pretty much the exact opposite of a feel good book for 90% of the story. Even with all the turmoil going on with the characters, we get a satisfying ending.
The pace of the book was slow in the beginning, but things picked up quickly after Charlotte/Charley makes her way to California. To read about a woman living as a man, acting as a man, and yet - still a woman, was pretty interesting. As Charley, he makes some good friends, gets a lover (but not in the way that you'd think), and makes a family. Charley's life was everything but traditional.
While reading this in Kindle format, I found a few spelling and formatting errors. It always amazes me when I find errors in a published title. Regardless, it didn't take away from the merit of the story.
I would recommend The Whip, especially for book clubs because it's great for discussion. Have you read The Whip? If so, please share what you thought of it.
On a mobile device? Watch the coordinating video here!