I wanted to like this one so much more than I did. I loved the concept of queer librarians. The story was well told and the characters were fun. But I was reminded of a very important fact. I don’t like Westerns. Like at all. I can count on one hand the number of Westerns (mostly movies with other genres mixed in) that I have enjoyed.
This is no fault of the author, who did make this particular Western enjoyable. And I will be highly recommending this book to friends who either like Westerns or don’t have a genre preference. So you should definitely pick up this book! Most especially if you like plucky girls trying to embrace themselves when outside voices try to drown their inner self in their narrow-minded views.
Another quick note. I received an audio version of this book through Libro.fm’s ALC program. (Thank you very much!) The narrator did a great job with various voices and making sure to add gravitas to essential parts of the story. So if you’d prefer to go the audio route, it’s a good choice and a quick read 🙂
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.
“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”
Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.
The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.