Gerald Kolpan, Author . Ballantine $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-50368-8

The sketchy details of the life of Etta Place, outlaw and paramour of William “Sundance Kid” Longabaugh, are imaginatively filled in by first-time novelist Kolpan in this winning tale of the Wild West. After her wealthy father's disgrace and demise, Etta departs Philadelphia society and heads west to become a Harvey Girl on the railroad in Colorado, where a series of misadventures leads her to the Hole-in-the-Wall gang. Romanced by Longabaugh and the fugitive lifestyle, Place earns an integral part in the gang through her shooting and riding skills as well as her beauty and sophistication. Pursued by the police, Pinkertons, the Black Hand and rival desperado Kid Curry, Etta and the Sundance Kid make their way across the country, diving from one daring adventure to another. The novel is not without its flaws: Etta's friendship with a young Eleanor Roosevelt and her encounters with other luminaries can seem precious, and her proto-feminism feels too canned. But the wide-screen drama of Etta's life makes these choices forgivable, and Kolpan's snappy storytelling makes it impossible not to want to ride along as the characters careen toward their tragic ends. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-5930-2
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Open Ebook - 223 pages - 978-0-345-51289-5
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