Book Bingeing: Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison

Book Bingeing

In 1885 17-year-old Jessalyn Harney lives on a homestead in the Midwest with her kind-hearted yet alcoholic father. Her mother died in childbirth, and her older brother Noah ran away from home years ago, so just Jessalyn and her father must run the farm.

Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison.

When she’s not working, Jessalyn practices her sharpshooting on nearby stumps and targets. After her father’s death, Jessalyn manages the estate by herself. Jessalyn discovers that Noah is a wanted criminal—a robber who steals big and distributes the winnings among his band of civilian followers. Adverse to marriage and worried about her brother, Jessalyn decides to set out on her own, find her brother and bring him back home to safety.

Life out West is dangerous for a girl, so Jessalyn cuts her hair, binds her chest, dresses like a boy and becomes Jesse. After a series of misadventures, “Jesse” impresses the governor with his sharpshooting and is hired onto his team of guardsmen. Jesse agrees, but only because her new employer is spearheading the massive manhunt to capture her outlaw brother. Grittily narrated by the unforgettable main character, Whiskey When We’re Dry is a heart-wrenching story about family, love and loyalty.