Etta, the first novel by Gerald Kolpan (and another Early Reviewer book) is a winner. In it, Kolpan imagines the life of Etta Place, a “real-life” figure about whom little is known beyond her status as girlfriend of the Sundance Kid. The life Kolpan creates for Etta is perfect – adventurous and complex with a great sprinkling of real historical figures. It’s not the truth, but it’s better than. It’s life at its storytelling best.
Kolpan has done his research. Having just finished a non-fiction book with a chapter on the Harvey Girls, it was interesting to see them pop up again in fictional form. And to see how close to the historical truth the depiction was. One thing that I really like about historical fiction is that it offers you a glimpse of another world. Etta did this for me – and made for a quick and entertaining end of the year read. I would recommend it, if you like historical fiction.