Rating – 4.63 out of 5
In Outlawed by Anna North, Ada’s life is interrupted by her committing the worst crime a woman can – being barren. After a year of trying, she is unable to get pregnant and finds herself being thrown out of the life that she has always known and into the life of an outlaw. Ada is smart – she knows that there must be some reason that this has happened but as she searches for an answer she aligns with the Hole in the Wall gang and becomes a follower of the Kid. Ada becomes a true outlaw and learns the ropes of living outside the law.
I was excited to see this as one of the Books of the Month as the premise hits all my boxes. Women outlaws?
Sign. me. up.
What kept me interested in this book was the characters. I loved Ada and her quest for the truth about her situation and body. All of the women of and people around the Hole in the Wall gang showed a beautiful picture of who people existed in that time period when they were outside of the hertonormative assumptions. The Kid also showed what it was like to be a powerful and enigmatic leader but still struggle.
There’s also a thread in this book about women’s rights and the ability of society to blame those it does not understand. Much of history is littered with instances of this. I felt that Outlawed gave a strong representation of what that looked like and how it felt for those that were literally outlawed for being different than society demanded. This is a great book for thinking about these ideas.
I recommend this book if you like westerns, strong women leaders, and depictions of LGBTQIA through history.
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