Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Books o' the Month: The Whip, What I Saw in Calfornia

The Whip is a novel based on the life of a woman who lived as a man, a well-known stagecoach driver in gold rush era California.  Very little is actually known (Google for more) about Charlie Parkhurst's life, so novelist Karen Kondazian had a lot of wiggle room.  But she tells an interesting, if mostly imagined, tale.

What I took away from reading The Whip is the reminder that people have always lived alternative lifestyles, have always lived with secrets.  We are--and were--human, after all.

Continuing with my minor (major?) obsession with mid-nineteenth century California history, I also recently read What I Saw In California by Edwin Bryant who went on to become the second alcalde (Spanish, similar to "mayor" but with a broader scope) of San Francisco.  He traveled in California just after the US conquest in 1846 and into 1847.  These first-hand accounts fascinate me, though besides the descriptions of the countryside, I always read them with a grain of salt.  They are usually quite culturally biased.

I totally flaked on Turn the Page ... Tuesday this month, but please, stop by there now and check out what the gals are reading! 

1 comment:

  1. (This might be my second comment - computer acting up). I just read about Charlie somewhere recently but can't remember where! Interesting story. So glad you jumped in ... another is right around the corner. Hope you can link up!