The Last Woman Standing, by Thelma Adams

Book: The Last Woman Standing

Author: Thelma Adams

Year: 2016

Synopsis: Two decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.

But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…

At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standingrecalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of a spunky heroine who sought her happy ending in a lawless outpost—with a fierce will and an unflagging spirit. (GoodReads)


I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was a nice mixture of history and fiction blended together; which altogether was achieved brilliantly by the author. The first person narrative was done so well, I have no idea how hard that must have been to create at first. It’s one thing to imagine yourself in the position of a character you’ve created, but something completely different to recreate an historical figure. It was really admirable to read it and hear the easy confidence through the voice.

Straight away I loved the character, I loved her spunk and strength and cheeky charisma. It’s probably not a surprise that I have a thing for strong and confident women. But what I really admired was that we got to see her backstory, when she was young and naïve and had to learn the hard way about the realities of life. More specifically, the heartbreak of a man who repeatedly told her that he wanted to marry her before falling back on his promises, time and time again.

The historical aspect really made me want to know more about the characters, and fuelled my curiosity (or perhaps, nosiness) about past and histories of others in time. Reading a more realistic account of the Wild West did wonders for my imagination, it’s always been a place in time steeped with romantic idealism and this more brutal account was interesting to read. I did take everything I read in the story with a little pinch of salt, because how much of that was true, you couldn’t really tell.

The only thing I really had a problem with, was the fact that she was labelled a heroine. I guess it depends on what the term means to people, but for me she didn’t specifically do anything that would require her to be a heroine. In fact it was the opposite really, she appeared to be a normal young girl trying to become familiar with her beauty and sexuality.

For what it was, a small nod to history from a female’s POV, it was written supremely well and had an enjoyable narrative to it, that meant I finished it pretty quickly.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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