Sunday, January 28, 2018

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions (Kopp Sisters #3)

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions is the first of Amy Stewart's Kopp Sisters series that I've read, but Tara reviewed the previous volume, Lady Cop Makes Trouble on this blog here.

I didn't feel that I needed an orientation to the Kopp Sisters that wasn't provided by Amy Stewart in this book.   So for me Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions could stand alone.

                         

 When I learned that the Kopp Sisters and other individuals portrayed in this novel really existed, I hoped to be able to find online content freely available that I could link to in this review.  I did find a page on the Library of Congress website devoted to Constance Kopp which included numerous newspaper articles about her.   As the first female sheriff's deputy in the U.S., I thought she would merit a Wikipedia page,  but such a page doesn't exist at this point.  Amy Stewart says that she found the Kopp Sisters on Ancestry.com which is a commercial website.  Serious researchers on the Kopp Sisters would need to pay Ancestry.com for their content.

There was a woman who was assisted by Constance Kopp who I thought was extraordinary by the name of Edna Heustis.  I wanted to know what happened to her after the events of the novel, but I learned that Amy Stewart had fictionalized her to an important degree.   I wondered if fictionalizing real individuals in ways that contradict the historical record could be justified in historical fiction.  Edna Heustis isn't a well-known individual.  Nor is it likely that she will ever be the subject of a full scale biography.  Some might argue that she is too minor for her portrayal to be the subject of controversy.  I will leave the issue up to my readers who may have their own opinions on this matter.

I really liked  Constance Kopp's intervention to restore freedom to young women who had been condemned as "wayward".  This is based on the concept that women are property who couldn't have aspirations or ambitions of their own.  This idea had persisted for centuries and was widely believed in 1916 when Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions took place.

Readers who are interested in early 20th century law enforcement, and how it impacted women who'd been stigmatized as "wayward" will be interested in reading the latest Kopp Sisters novel.
















                            

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