Annie and the Wolves, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Soho Press, 2021, 344 pp
When I discovered that Annie Oakley was a main character in this novel, I had to read it. Annie Oakley was a childhood heroine of mine. I never missed an episode of the TV series and for years when we played cowboys outside, I was Annie and my bike was my horse. I also had a cap gun and a holster.
Andromeda Romano-Lax is a trusted author for me and she maintained that trust in her latest novel. She creates wonderful flawed characters and her plots include history, mystery and a bit of psychology. In Annie and the Wolves she proved she can handle a dual timeline better than most.
The portrayal of Annie Oakley in the TV series certainly showed her as the phenomenal and fearless sharpshooter she was, but it provided little concerning the facts of her life. I was absorbed by the history Romano-Lax dug up, showing who Annie was, the abuse and trials she overcame as well as her passion for enabling women to protect themselves.
The current timeline features Ruth McClintock, an historian whose obsession with Annie nearly derailed her career and her love life. Both Annie and Ruth suffered from residual and debilitating consequences of violent accidents, including out-of-body episodes that seemed strangely like time travel.
Exciting, thought-provoking, and a deep exploration of female revenge, this novel thrilled me to the core.
Here are links to my review of two earlier novels by this author: