KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH (Kopp Sisters #5) by Amy Stewart will be published on September 17th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp are back in the fifth installment of the Kopp Sisters Series – KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH. Out of a job as a deputy sheriff in Bergen County, New Jersey, Constance Kopp is at loose ends. At the insistence of her sisters – and with the United States on the brink of joining the Great War in Europe – Constance agrees to attend a training camp at a National Service School outside of Richmond. The National Service Schools were created to train women to help out with war-related tasks. When the matron of the camp is injured in an accident, Constance reluctantly takes over control of the camp. Realizing that most of the lessons being taught to the women are of little use to the women who are serious about taking part in the war effort in France, Constance changes the curriculum and begins teaching the women more useful lessons – including how to fire a gun. Fleurette remains as exasperating and lovable as she was in the previous novels. Norma is still obsessed with her darn pigeons – and she is convinced that the Army will soon recognize that pigeons are necessary for communication purposes on the front lines of the war.
KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH is told in the third person, and the point of view bounces back and forth between Constance and another woman named Beulah Binford. Beulah was a notorious woman in her day. She was the “other woman” in a love triangle. Her lover killed his wife, and Beulah was almost charged as an accessory. Since being released from prison, Beulah has been running from her past. Beulah was an interesting addition to the novel, and her real-life story is fascinating. The only problem is that Beulah steals the spotlight from Constance and her sisters.
Amy Stewart has based the first four Kopp Sisters novels on real-life events. With no historical record of what the sisters were up to in 1917, Stewart placed them at one of the real-life National Service Schools. It is entirely believable that the Kopp sisters could have trained at one of the schools. KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH is a bit different from the other books in the series – Constance is not involved with the local sheriff’s department – but it still a very intriguing novel. I had never heard of the National Service Schools, so it was interesting to read about the Kopp sisters (mis)adventures at one of the camps. Also, this novel was different because Constance’s side of the story seems to pale against Beulah’s story. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and I am looking forward to what the Kopp sisters get up to in the next novel.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.