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Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions–moral turpitude in 1916?

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Miss Kopp”s Midnight Confessions

by Amy Stewart

Miss Kopp's Midnight ConfessionsAmy Stewart has taken the real story of three sisters in the U.S. in 1916 and fleshed it out as a fictional tale based on her research. The rights of women are so limited in this book that is it hard to conceive of it in the twenty-first century.

Constance Kopp is the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey and one of the first in the U.S. Many of the problems she deals with involve moral issues which can result in very stiff penalties, especially for women. As the U.S. prepares to enter World War I (1917), girls and women are starting to be employed outside the home working long hours under difficult conditions in factories where they are paid much less than men for the same work. One indicator of the status of women’s rights is that the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920.

With this setting in mind, know that there is nothing pedantic about Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions. It is composed of very short chapters that make you want to turn the page and keep reading. It deals with cultural and social issues of the time and demonstrates that there can be flexibility, based on reasonableness and sensitivity, within the law. Deputy Sheriff Constance Kopp encounters young women with various problems; she must view them through the prism of the potential for similar issues in her own family.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Historical Fiction

Notes: #3 in the Kopp Sister Novel Series, but can be read as a standalone

Publication:   September 5, 2017—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Memorable Lines:

Whatever discomforts she might endure, they couldn’t compare to the hardships of a trench in the Argonne. The idea stayed with her, as she grew more accustomed to the tedium of a factory job, the long hours on her feet, her red and swollen fingers, and the dull ache behind her eyes from staring at those spinning threads all day. Her brothers were eager to go overseas and endure far worse. Surely she could bear it for their sake.

She was such a slight, mousy girl, with so little to say, but a steel cable of resolve ran through her. The notions of duty and service and country came as naturally to her as breathing.

Edna had an endless reservoir of determination, and all the high ideals in the world, but she didn’t know how to bluff, or play a trick, or talk her way into a room where she wasn’t invited. She was constitutionally unable to lie or cheat or hide anything—money, jewels, the truth. Minnie could do all of that, and while she didn’t know much about war, she was fairly certain that something in that line might be called for.

1 Comment

  1. I missed this one, it does sound interestng.

    Liked by 1 person

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