Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, by Kathleen Y'Barbo (Multnomah)

(Click cover for more information)

This is a fun read, especially for those who, like myself, are blessed with a touch of the Walter Mitty syndrome.

Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper is a high-bred debutante of New York City with a secret affinity for dime-store novels—particularly those of her favorite heroine, bounty hunter Mae Winslow, Woman of the West. Spurred on by Mae’s exploits (pun intended), Gennie dreams of having a “Wild West” adventure. Her chance comes when a servant’s sister, destined to become nanny to a precocious child in Denver, needs a temporary substitute to accommodate her wedding plans. Unbeknown to her parents, Gennie schemes to become that substitute in lieu of her summer trip to Boston.

Ms. Cooper suffers a terribly inauspicious introduction with her new employer, but manages to win the hearts and minds of the household staff and her rebellious charge, Charlotte “Charlie” Beck, albeit more slowly with the latter. Her relationship with silver baron Daniel Beck, Charlotte’s father, suffers through missteps and misunderstandings throughout the tale, but, as a romance demands, emerges the victor when the trail dust settles.

Ms. Y'Barbo crafts a clever story, weaving excerpts from Mae Winslow’s adventures into Gennie’s story. Oh, and, if you read closely, you’ll notice a interesting relationship between Mae’s and Gennie’s dilemmas.

If you like stories about the West in the 1880s and would be intrigued by the exploits of a romantically inclined city girl grappling with the lure of her rustic fantasy world within the reality of her proper societal upbringing, you’ll enjoy The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy! Gonna havta to pick this one up. :)

Bruce Judisch said...

It's pretty clever, Jennifer. I'll be interested to see what you think of it.

Cheers! Bruce