Book Review

by Jane Candia Coleman

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Sensuality: MILD
Setting: Late 1800s Arizona Territory

2009 Historical Biography Nominee

RT Rating

With the true-life story of Pearl Hart, Coleman brings another feisty, unconventional woman to life. Pearl was born into a middle-class world where women were trapped with few choices -- one could either be a wife or a whore. Instead Pearl chose her own path. In Coleman's first-person account, Pearl tells how she become the Bandit Queen. This powerful, first-rate western is a feminist feast.

In her unique voice, Pearl relates leaving her Ohio home to marry Frank Hart, an abusive gambler who went through the money she earned singing at the Chicago World's Fair.
Fed up with the abuse, Pearl flees to Phoenix, where Frank finds her. The abuse continues until he leaves to fight
in the Spanish-American War.

Free of Frank, but without money, Pearl is desperate enough to hold up a stagecoach. That begins the cycle of robberies that led to her capture, her escape and, finally, her recapture and the shocking
sentencing that made her the first woman to be imprisoned in Yuma Penitentiary. (LEISURE, Dec., 380 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: LEISURE

Published: December 2009

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