Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Kathleen Y'Barbo's The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper ~ Reviewed
The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper
By Kathleen Y’Barbo
Published by: Water Brook
The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia, “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent—especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.
As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880’s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. Will Daniel’s past—and disgruntled miners bent on revenge—take that choice away from her?
Kathleen Y’Barbo has cleverly written two stories in one. In the beginning of each chapter, I was captured by the character Mae Winslow, Woman of the West. I was delighted to read about of her wild adventures, going where no woman would normally go. Then after a paragraph or so of Mae Winslow’s story, the author jumps into Gennie’s story, a woman secretly seeking the adventures Mae Winslow was having. It was great fun to read their Wild West adventures side by side. Gennie really cracked me up in parts when this refined woman tries to be all tough and brave like her hero Mae Winslow.
Gennie’s desperate for adventure and grabs an opportunity to throw social graces to the wind and follow her dreams. Mae Winslow, says in the beginning of the book “Sometimes what a person wishes for is neither what they really want nor what they need. Sometimes, it’s the wishing that’s the best part.” Often times this is true, don’t you think?
Gennie just had to find out what it would feel like to have an adventure. She couldn’t let anyone know or they would have her stopped immediately.
I loved the part when Gennie is trying to send a telegram home to explain what she has done “Of course, she’d have to explain to Hester why she’d gone off, but that was easily accomplished. She’d plead temporary insanity by reason of dime novels.”
Mae Winslow’s character says, “A woman is either in want of a husband or wanting to rid herself of one. That had been Mae’s opinion until Henry crashed into her life.”
This story captivated me. I was totally taken with all the twists, turns and misunderstandings of society that Gennie and Mr. Beck find themselves in the middle of. I smiled all the way through this novel and laughed out loud in parts. This is a story about a Wild West Adventure and so much more. I have to say this book was fun, fun, fun from beginning until the end. So grab your copy and enjoy Wild West Adventures of the female kind.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent - Finding Hope Through Fiction -
Book Club Servant Leader