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Saturday, May 06, 2017

Audiobook Review: Gunpowder Girls by Tanya Anderson

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I had the great fortune of exchanging some correspondence with Quindaro Press and it lead to a review copy of Gunpowder Girls: The True Stories of Three Civil War Tragedies by Tanya Anderson. It was a great audio book, and the narrator is Carrie Olsen. It’s a quick one: only 2 hrs and 3 mins but a fascinating, rich look at women and the work they were doing during the American Civil War in the arsenals.

There are intriguing details about the work itself (facts about the guns and ammunition, how it was produced and assembled, what the issues were with distribution, volume of ammo needed during various periods) and the nature of the work (how the women had to sit close together and were constrained by their huge hoop skirts, the conditions of the arsenals, who did what jobs and why, and the reason these women were working at all).

Here’s my Audible review:

“Fantastic Look at Women & Work”

Would you consider the audio edition of Gunpowder Girls to be better than the print version?
I didn’t read the print version but the audio edition is fantastic. The narrator’s voice is crisp, clear and engaging. There are slight intonations to connote different sections, presumably sidebar material.

Who was your favorite character and why?
This is nonfiction but there are several characters mentioned throughout, some are the foremen or boys who deliver gunpowder but it’s really a book about the women and the work they did during the civil war. There are several personal stories and anecdotes throughout. This is not boring history.

Which scene was your favorite?
The descriptions of two of the arsenal explosions are affecting. You can really imagine that you were at the scene. The descriptions are vivid and the author has done a great job of providing not just the facts but the story and context.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened to this in a few long sessions.

Any additional comments?
The quality of the writing and the narration are superb. As a disclaimer, I received a free review copy but it was a book I requested and very much enjoyed.