A Novel

eBook - 2009
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Kolpan imagines that Etta Place was born Lorinda Jameson, the daughter of a prominent financier, who becomes known as the loveliest of the city's debutantes when she makes her entrance into Philadelphia society. Though her position in life is already assured, her true calling is on horseback. She can ride as well as any man and handle a rifle even better. But when a tragedy leads to a dramatic reversal of fortune, Lorinda is left orphaned, penniless, homeless, and pursued by the ruthless Black Hand mafia. Rechristened "Etta Place" to ensure her safety, the young woman travels to the farthest reaches of civilization, working as a "Harvey Girl" waitress in Grand Junction, Colorado. There, fate intervenes once more and she again finds herself on the run from the ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency. But this time she has company. She soon finds herself at the legendary hideout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, where she meets the charismatic Butch Cassidy and the handsome, troubled Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid. Through a series of holdups and heists, Etta and Harry begin an epic and ultimately tragic romance, which will be the greatest of Etta's life. Then, when Etta meets the young and idealistic Eleanor Roosevelt, her life is changed forever.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2009
ISBN: 9780345512895


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Apr 11, 2016

My Uncle gifted this to me many Christmas' ago after we completed a thorough DNA analysis affirming our direct descendance from Harry Longabaugh.

I felt closer to Etta than some of my living relatives. This fictional story does a phenomenal job of becoming very real to any reader!

Aug 07, 2012

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the variance from actual history (the author explains at the back of the book). An interesting collection of newspaper clippings, letters and story that flows very well. Now I want to watch the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid again!

Jun 14, 2011

I have long been fascinated by the American West, how it was discovered and settled, and the legends and stories of the people behind it’s history. The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , were some of it’s last outlaws. The beautiful and mysterious Etta Place, Sundance’s companion has certainly developed into a legend herself. Etta by Gerald Kolpan takes the few facts known about this woman and gives us an entertaining story of what “might have been” weaving famous people and actual events throughout.

This turn-of-the-century story shows us both the last days of the wild west and the booming growth of the eastern States. It was a time of great change in America with new people, new inventions, and new political ideas pouring in. Gerald Kolpan envisions Etta as a daughter of a prominent Philadelphia family. Her mother id dead and her father has become an alcoholic and a gambler. He takes his life leaving his daughter to face the mess of debts he has left behind. The worst of these debts was owed to “The Black Hand” a criminal mob who intend to collect. With help from the family lawyer, she gets a new identity and is hired on to be a Harvey Girl in the new railway restaurants that were springing up along the western rails. She eventually comes into contact with Harry “Sundance Kid” Longbaugh and they fall in love.

I really enjoyed this imaginative story and the author’s use of letters, diaries and newspaper articles woven together gave me a real sense of time and place. My only drawback, and it is a big one, was that the characters felt a little one dimensional and flat. So kudos to the author for a great story, and giving me lots of information about the time period, but unfortunately Etta never became a book that involved me deeply or one that will linger in my memory.

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Feb 16, 2014

lindalinwang thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and under


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