Author: Anna North
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Jan. 5, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Raincoast Books
Book Rating: 8.5/10
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.
Unique, tender, and thrilling!
Outlawed is a compelling, adventurous tale featuring Ada, the young daughter of a midwife whom after being unable to bear her husband a child flees her hometown, to rumblings of witchcraft, to a convent run by nuns before finally settling and finding a home as the doctor for the notorious outlaws, non-binary, Hole in the Wall Gang.
The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are strong, determined, passionate, and loyal. And the plot set in the wild west during the mid-1890s is an intense, fast-paced tale of love, life, loss, bravery, strength, loyalty, danger, gender neutrality, nonconformity, gunslinging, violence, and survival.
I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I started Outlawed, but North did such a wonderful job of blending a classic western story with such an original, alluring, feministic spin that I was not only left highly entertained but incredibly impressed.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.