Ivy, Nov 2003, 368 pp.
In Marshall, Kansas, Annie Malloy enjoys being a member of the “New Modern Woman” until she realizes that she is pregnant out of wedlock. She goes to her lover, bank and train robber Bodie Miller, who offers to marry her, but rejects her insistence he turns respectable. Bodie informs Annie they will marry, but he will continue his life of robbery. Annie declines.
Sheriff Jess Harden asks Annie if he can court her, but she is upset and runs away from him. He thinks she rejects him, but instead Annie finds her delicate condition makes her unsuitable for the sheriff. Still he persists and as they fall in love, she wonders if he will be so kind with someone's child. Also Bodie plans to come back to take what is his as no one rejects him.
Fans of western romances will want to read SHOTGUN WEDDING, a powerful period piece that brings to light an era of change for women yet in many ways society remains the same. That is the brilliance of the tale. Maggie Osborne uses Annie's plight to contrast a modern nineteenth century woman stigmatized by her pregnancy as she fleetingly considers suicide to avoid the shame she brings to her family. Throw in a strong hero and a selfish villain (though Bodie's motives seem strange) so that the audience will gain immense pleasure from a superb story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner