Whiskey When We're Dry

Whiskey When We're Dry

Book - 2018
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Named a Best Book by Entertainment Weekly , O Magazine, Goodreads, Southern Living, Outside Magazine, Oprah.com, HelloGiggles, Parade, Fodor's Travel, Sioux City Journal , Read it Forward, Medium.com, and NPR's All Things Considered.

"A thunderclap of originality, here is a fresh voice and fresh take on one of the oldest stories we tell about ourselves as Americans and Westerners. It's riveting in all the right ways -- a damn good read that stayed with me long after closing the covers." - Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Worst Hard Time

From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west

In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah--dead or alive.

Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.

Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning achievement, an epic as expansive as America itself--and a reckoning with the myths that are entwined with our history.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2018]
ISBN: 9780735220447
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Whiskey when we are dry


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Apr 11, 2020

Nothing comes easy for Jess, that’s for sure. Sometimes it seemed the coincidences were just a bit much. Not that an explanation wasn’t provided, but for some reason it seemed to convenient to me. Happened to be a great gun slinger, happened to get in with the governor, happened to find her brother, happened to not get wounded or killed. And no one “happened” to notice no facial hair on Jess’s face when she started passing as a man. But, a story is a story, and this story was just ok.

Jul 21, 2019

Original in concept and even more original in execution. I could not stop reading. 2 am and I could not stop reading. The book is thrilling and fast-paced. So much off to the side historical detail. Post Civil War and folks are struggling with: the war, Indians, free Blacks, women's roles, going west for promised land (both meanings), the bosses vs. the workers, loss of animal habitat and changes to the land. And here is Jesse a girl disguised as a boy to find her outlaw brother. What a find!

Mar 21, 2019

A western with a feminist twist with lyrical writing.

Mar 11, 2019

This 2018 novel joins contemporary takes on the western like "The Sisters Brothers," "West," and "Haints Stay." Considering what an essentially American genre the western is, there are very few great western novels. "Whiskey" is a true gritty story of a teenage girl who disguises herself as a boy (Like "Mulan!") to go searching for her outlaw brother. It deals with some classic western themes with a fresh eye and some vivid dialogue. I feel the first half of the novel is stronger than the second. Larison went to U of O and OSU and lives in Oregon. Suggested pairing: whiskey.

Mar 09, 2019

Very original tale written in a rather archaic style. The wild west when it was really wild. Ladies to the fore!

Nov 24, 2018

I don't read this genre much- it is an almost classic western. With that caveat, I must say I did enjoy it. It is a dark novel in that it portrays the rough existence of the 1880's in the west. The protagonist/ narrator is a female who becomes more manly as the tale evolves. But it does have its sunnier moments as the narrator trades quips and insults with the other characters. The story itself is about the quest to find family and what family means, and has its classics gunfighter moments. All in all, it satisfies my old west yearning.

Nicr Oct 30, 2018

Post Civil War. The adventures of orphan Jesse Straight, born Jessilyn Harney, as he/she ventures west in search of her outlaw brother Noah. Questions of faith, fate and free will reverberate. And if Noah disappoints as an outlaw, Jess does not. A memorable narrative voice.

DCLadults Oct 18, 2018

A New & Noteworthy pick. It’s spring 1885 and a young woman finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's cattle ranch. She cuts her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and heads out to find her outlaw brother. A totally original story of the Wild West.

jabberbooky May 29, 2018

A totally original story of the Wild West. In the Spring of 1885, a young woman finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's cattle ranch. She cuts her hair, disguises herself as a boy and heads out to find her outlaw brother. Nothing comes easily to Jessilyn, but it's a story that will draw you in and is unlike any other western you may have read.


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