Reading Whiskey When We’re Dry is like opening dozens of little gifts at Christmas: each time a surprise occurs, it’s a delight.
Author John Larison does that over and over again, gifting readers with a great opening, exceptional characters, and plenty to unwrap.
Set in the years following the Civil War, in an unnamed state, this book offers both high adventure and guazy romance.
For a few years, Jessilyn did what she could to help her father run things. But after he fell in with the wrong crowd and had gotten addled in a fight, he was never the same. But still, he schooled Jessilyn on sharp-shooting for protection, and he talked of marrying her off. Then, six days after he left on a solitary ride, Jessilyn found her father’s bones. Not knowing what to do, she asked if a nearby Mormon family might take her in, and she was denied.
That was when Jessilyn went into the old wooden box her father had left behind. She found some of his outgrown clothes that fit her fine—and she became Jesse.
Larison’s gender-bending tale is rather un-PC, so beware as you read this sweeping epic that offers plenty of mini-shocks throughout.
This article appears in the October 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.