Kopp Sisters on the March

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

The latest in Kopp's history-based Kopp sisters series departs from the record more than previous books in the series due to a gap in the historical record, but are just as engaging. Series fans will be especially delighted with Norma's arc in this book.
Was this review helpful?
After a disappointing third outing, but a satisfying fourth, I was nervous for this installment. I shouldn't have been. Amy Stewart has done a stellar job imagining how the three Kopp sisters would have been involved in preparation for WWI. The pigeons are a big to do, as is Fleurette's longing for the stage, but Beulah and Constance take most of the focus of the novel. I was intrigued by Beulah, and by the Army camp itself. It's obvious a lot of research went into Stewart's latest novel. It ends with a lot up in the air, and I hope to reignite my engagement with the sisters in the next.
Was this review helpful?
Amy Stewart has the Kopp Sisters on the March in a women's camp to prepare to serve in World War I.  The camp bumbles along as Miss Kopp is put in charge.  Fugitive Beulah is hiding out from her wicked former life.  Nobody really knows what their training should be.  Some start to train to use guns. Nursing and service skills are taught.  Based on women's camps just prior to America getting into the war.  A great read.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series!  I especially love that this series is based on real women.  Amy Stewart is a wonderful writer and story teller.  Please keep this series coming!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Houghton Mifflen Harcourt and Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book. This is the 5th installment in this series, and it just keeps getting better. This story takes place in 1917, as the US prepares to enter World War I. The country has set up military training camps called National Service Schools for women who are interested in joining the fight. When the Kopp Sisters hear about these camps, the urge to join is just irresistible. I really like this series. There's some humor, as well as being based on real historical events. Can't wait for the next installment!.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderful series and, to get the most enjoyment out of the five books in the series, they should be read in order. The previous four books use real life events for the Kopp sisters but now it's 1917 and Amy Stewart takes them into the America of 1917 and the start of America's involvement in WWI. Constance is in a funk after having lost her position as a new sheriff is appointed. To get things moving, Norma enrolls them in a National Service School to train citizens on the best way to support the war effort at home. From carrier pigeons and their use in the military to entertainment, the sisters have a new focus. When the woman in charge of the camp breaks her leg, Constance is pulled in to run the place. With 200 women at the camp, what could possibly go wrong? Homicide, of course.
This is a series that made it to my must read list from the very first book and has never let me down. The characters are multi dimensional, the mystery a satisfying puzzle with enough twists, turns and red herrings to keep me guessing. Add to that it's a historical series - my favorite. Well, I have to pace myself reading one because, if I don't, I will forget to eat and sleep. After finishing this one I'm eager to see what Amy Stewart has in store for the Kopp sisters - many more books, I hope.
Was this review helpful?
Another delightful installment in the book series about the historical Kopp sisters. What I love about these books, besides the characters of independent women, is the historical settings. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
I’m a huge Kopp Sisters fan.This book is slightly different from the past few but I love the new angle.
The Kopp Sisters are attending A training camp at The National Service school in this mystery.Its meant to help women in their War efforts but you realize really quickly that it’s almost an extension of how men think women should contribute...cooking,cleaning and sewing.You get to meet  the infamous Beulah Binford in this book.
What I love about this series is that it’s based on true stories and has very strong feminine leads.They had to fight to do what they really wanted to do...be a Police Matron or train pigeons to be carrier pigeons in the war.
Thankyou Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this wonderful ARC.
Was this review helpful?
The rollicking adventures of the Kopp Sisters continue, but now move away from their farm and small town politics and head toward the first world war. I enjoyed watching the sisters continue to grow within their unique personalities.

However, readers who have appreciated the cozy mystery approach of the earlier books may be disappointed by the introduction of Beulah and her sexual exploits that are more graphic than one would expect in this series. Moving from cozy mystery to more explicit crime fiction may shift the reader demographic as well. Whether that is positive for the series remains to be seen.
Was this review helpful?
Kopp Sisters On The March is the fifth book in the Kopp Sisters series by NYT best-selling American author, Amy Stewart. After a very public dismissal from her deputy’s position in Hackensack, and a depressing winter, in early 1917 Constance Kopp finds herself, with her sisters, Norma and Fleurette, and some two hundred other young women, at Camp Chevy Chase in Maryland. They are attending the National Service School, all her sister Norma’s doing. 

She quickly deduces that it’s more theatre than proper training, and is frustrated by the emphasis on knitting, cooking for convalescents and scientific bed-making. When the camp’s matron breaks a leg, Constance’s organisational nature takes hold, and her interim in-charge status soon extends to the duration of the program. One slight wrinkle is that Constance doesn't agree entirely with the established program, and is quickly tempted to add some more practical, useful activities.

The sisters share their tent with two others, one of whom is not there to alleviate boredom, to socialise or to help the country’s war effort. Beulah Binford, going by the name of Roxanna Collins, is hoping to escape her notoriety by travelling to France with the other women at the end of her training. But various events at the camp bring back memories to haunt Beulah. 

Norma is apparently willing to forgo her access to the daily newspapers for the opportunity to bring her messenger pigeons to the Army’s notice. Ever the performer, Fleurette has already, much to Norma’s consternation, organised a show for the young women featuring May Ward. It turns out, however, that Norma’s instinctive reservations about May Ward’s husband, Vaudeville manager Freeman Bernstein, are right on the money. She exhibits admirable control while holding a revolver pointed right at him.

Stewart’s Historical Notes are interesting and informative, revealing that Constance Kopp and her sisters were real people, much as described, as are quite a few of the other characters. Many of the events that form the plot also occurred, if not always when stated. Stewart takes the known historical facts and fleshes them out into a marvellous tale. 

While this time in history is still notable for the utter dependence and powerlessness of women, with men increasingly occupied by war, women are stepping up to show what they can do. Miss Kopp is still clever, resourceful and persistent; she’s also capable and caring.

While this is the fifth book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. However, readers are likely to want to seek out the earlier books, and fans of Miss Kopp will not be disappointed: there is still plenty of humour in their dialogue. Let’s hope that Amy Stewart has more of the Sisters Kopp up her sleeve. Excellent historical fiction
This unbiased review is from a copy provided by NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harourt and Scribe Publications.
Was this review helpful?
This fifth book in the Kopp Sisters series is a change in format from the previous four. Now that Constance Kopp is no longer a deputy Sheriff, following the elections that brought in a new Sheriff with no need of female deputies, the books are no longer based on actual newspaper articles and reports of Constance's activities. Instead Amy Stewart has written a lively, fictionalised account of what the sisters could have been doing based on events that were happening at that time and place in an America on the cusp of entering WWI.

It's the spring 0f 1917 and while Constance has spent the winter cooped up feeling sorry for herself, Norma has been busy getting her pigeons ready for service as couriers in the war in Europe. While America has been trying to stay neutral and out of the European war, many in the country feel that it's inevitable with Germany trying to blockade their merchant ships and entice Mexico to join with them in fighting a land war in America. The armed forces are woefully under-prepared and camps have been set up to train men in marching and shooting. Norma has decided to enrol all three sisters in a camp for women where they will learn basic first aid, cooking for convalescents and 'scientific bedmaking'. Of course she also plans to take her pigeons to show the army what they could do for them in Europe.

With real events and real people woven into the story, Amy Stewart has once again given us a fascinating insight into American history and the role women played in getting ready for war. Her careful research into the period has resulted in painting a picture of what was happening to everyday folk away from the committees and politicians. She has enlivened the novel even further by inserting a woman involved in an infamous murder case as one of the women attending the camps, giving us a window into the difficulties poor, uneducated women had to overcome to survive in this period. Constance is called upon to use her talents to help run the camp and by the time the camp is finished has some ideas of what she could do next. Can't wait to read the next
Was this review helpful?
Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp are back in the fifth installment of the Kopp Sisters Series – KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH. Out of a job as a deputy sheriff in Bergen County, New Jersey, Constance Kopp is at loose ends. At the insistence of her sisters – and with the United States on the brink of joining the Great War in Europe – Constance agrees to attend a training camp at a National Service School outside of Richmond. The National Service Schools were created to train women to help out with war-related tasks. When the matron of the camp is injured in an accident, Constance reluctantly takes over control of the camp. Realizing that most of the lessons being taught to the women are of little use to the women who are serious about taking part in the war effort in France, Constance changes the curriculum and begins teaching the women more useful lessons – including how to fire a gun. Fleurette remains as exasperating and lovable as she was in the previous novels. Norma is still obsessed with her darn pigeons – and she is convinced that the Army will soon recognize that pigeons are necessary for communication purposes on the front lines of the war. 

KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH is told in the third person, and the point of view bounces back and forth between Constance and another woman named Beulah Binford. Beulah was a notorious woman in her day. She was the “other woman” in a love triangle. Her lover killed his wife, and Beulah was almost charged as an accessory. Since being released from prison, Beulah has been running from her past. Beulah was an interesting addition to the novel, and her real-life story is fascinating. The only problem is that Beulah steals the spotlight from Constance and her sisters. 

Amy Stewart has based the first four Kopp Sisters novels on real-life events. With no historical record of what the sisters were up to in 1917, Stewart placed them at one of the real-life National Service Schools. It is entirely believable that the Kopp sisters could have trained at one of the schools. KOPP SISTERS ON THE MARCH is a bit different from the other books in the series – Constance is not involved with the local sheriff’s department – but it still a very intriguing novel. I had never heard of the National Service Schools, so it was interesting to read about the Kopp sisters (mis)adventures at one of the camps. Also, this novel was different because Constance’s side of the story seems to pale against Beulah’s story. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and I am looking forward to what the Kopp sisters get up to in the next novel.
Was this review helpful?
Read this book!  The Kopp sisters- Norma, Constance, and Fleurette- were real people (make sure to read the afterword AFTER you read the book) and they lived fascinating lives. Set in 1917, this takes them to a National Service camp, set up to train women in advance of WWI to be, well, helpers not necessarily in the war zone but in general.  Norma, however, has other thoughts- she breeds homing pigeons and is determined that they will be critical for communications in Europe.  Constance is drifting after losing her law enforcement job and Fleurette is also a tad at sea after coming home from a tour with a performing troupe.  Throw in Beulah Binford and you've got quite a tale.  Beulah also was a real person and Stewart spins her story out over the course of this novel, alternating it with the events in the camp, which heat up, btw once Constance takes charge.  This has delightful characters and Stewart is a terrific storyteller.  Don't worry if you haven't read the previous books (although you really should at some point because they are awesome)- this is fine as a standalone.  Thanks to net galley for the ARC.  This is a wonderful and highly entertaining read.
Was this review helpful?
Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 368 pages.

If you’ve missed the previous four Kopp Sisters novels by Amy Stewart, you’re missing out. That said, don’t let that stop you from starting now. Book five of the series, Kopp Sisters on the March works as a standalone novel. After all, this book is not only about the trio of sisters who have braved many trials and tribulations, but also about Beulah Binford. A “wicked woman” if there ever was one. Or was she? 

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know?

Beulah’s very real, historical infamy became a pop culture phenomenon, a meme even, of the early 20th Century eastern states, and beyond. Such that she had a hard time keeping a low profile even in New York City, though she was from Virginia originally, and where infamy found her. In the end, her story, though tragic, was believable, ringing true not only in fact but of the era. On the surface, Beulah’s story was not one I’d typically go along with — a vapid, vain young woman has been abused by people she trusted, but who she also pursued — but once it was laid out, I was hooked. I found her fascinating. 

All three Kopp sisters also have fascinating storylines themselves. However, in On the March, they all fold back onto the story of Beulah, though Stewart’s version is more fictionalized, deviating on a few matters from the historical record. The very real, historical Kopps disappear from the historic record in this time, so Stewart is able to explore the characters she’s created a bit more alongside this true-crime tale, and not lose any of the histories of her series protagonists.  

And of course, like the previous books of the series, there are interesting explorations into the role of women in this pivotal time. So many changes are in the air for the world, for the United States, and for the Kopp Sisters.  Women come to the fore during a time of war, stepping into leadership roles over enormous organizations, and demanding a bigger part of the decision-making. Stewart keeps the machinery of war moving far from the action of On the March, and I hope is setting up storylines for the years of World War I for Book 6.   

This book is well-paced — not a breakneck thriller, but more of a straight historical novel than a nail-biting whodunnit. Something I liked, but didn’t realize until it was all over — there’s no romance to speak of in this book besides the romance of being young and finding yourself. Or being a little older, and finding yourself again. Anyway, I enjoyed it. 

My Only Qualm
I truly love the cover art by Jim Tierney for this series. Each book’s cover is completely different and looks amazing. I’m pretty sure it was the covers that drew me to the series initially even though I already liked Amy Stewart’s non-fiction work. World War I aircraft are like catnip to me. It’s one of those things that I cannot explain. And there are biplanes on this gorgeous cover for On the March. As I read and enjoyed the book, I kept thinking, “Maybe the planes come later? Maybe at the end?” But, the cover is sadly the only place you’ll find aircraft in this book. *Sigh* Though all three sisters have decent roles and interesting storylines for themselves, none of them fly planes. Or get close to planes, or think of them, speak of them, or
Was this review helpful?
I only discovered Amy Stewart's series of novels about Constance Kopp and her sisters a few months ago, but I read the entire series right away. Constance and her sisters, as well as many other characters in this (so far) 5-book series, are drawn from true figures in U.S. history, as well as the events that happened to them. Stewart doesn't offer us a dry accounting of these historical figures, however, but rather fleshes out the storyline in ways that I find completely compelling. From tracking down the criminal who is threatening her family to taking up a position as sheriff's deputy to (in the latest novel) joining one of the homegrown war camps for women, Constance Kopp is a tough and thoroughly likeable character.

At the center of each of Stewart's novel is a feminist recovery of U.S. history in the early twentieth century. When Constance becomes the matron of the county jail, for example, she realizes how morality laws are unequally targeting young women who resist their parents' control. Realizing that these laws have the ability to ruin women's lives by locking them away in reform schools for many years or sending them to prison, Constance works to make her own contribution to reforming the system. As a result, all of her actions infuriate the local prosecutor who sees no role for women in law enforcement and wants to run for political office as someone who reined in the county's wayward young women. Stewart uses the Kopp sisters' story as a means to shed light on gendered histories. Along the way, she tells a really good story.

In this latest installment, Kopp Sisters on the March, Constance, Norma, and Fleurette want to contribute to the war effort, so they go off to a training camp for women. Right from the beginning, Constance questions its seriousness and how that lack of seriousness reflects the government's unwillingness to take women's potential contributions seriously. Constance, as always, gets involved and tries to effect as much change as she can. Alongside her, Norma is determined to make the army realize the usefulness of a carrier pigeon brigade and Fleurette is determined to put on a show for the women that mirrors the shows being put on for male soldiers. Stewart makes these interwoven stories both serious and funny.

Parallel to the Kopp sisters' narrative is the tale of Beulah Binson, a character based on the real life woman. This sub-plot comes together nicely at the end, but I became impatient with the drawn out unfolding of her story. It was clear that there was some huge scandal related to her, but we don't find out all the details until about 4/5 of the way through the story. As I read, I found myself much more interested in what was happening at the camp than in Beulah's flashbacks.

On the whole, though, I'd definitely recommend this latest installment, and I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Was this review helpful?
This is the best Kopp Sisters book in my opinion and I have enjoyed them all. The characters keep developing and growing which is amazing as it's based on real life people. The author says this has the most fiction in it and perhaps that really helped. Imagination is more entertaining than real life.

   When the book opens in 1917, Constance is still sulking after being fired as a deputy by the new sheriff. Norma is anxious to get her beloved pigeons in the war effort so she signs them and her sisters up for a National Service Schools camp where the organizers are trying to prove to the military that women have a place in the service of their country.  

  At the camp of 200 women, the three sisters fit in right away. Norma runs pigeon training classes and Fleurette sews uniforms. Because of an unfortunate accident Constance becomes leader of the camp, a role she thrives in. In no time at all, she has whipped the girls into a discipline and routine that would make a general smile. They meet my favorite character, Beulah Binford. Beulah has been involved in the scandal of the century and her face has been plastered across every newspaper in the country. As you get to know her story you really feel sorry for her and end up rooting for her to have a second chance in life. Beulah is a real life person.

  As always, Stewart has done meticulous research and the times are really brought to life. It's hard to believe that just 100 years ago women had basically no rights and no real role to play other than wife and mother. It's such a lovely reminder to think of the women who opened doors for the rest of us. The Kopp sisters are such unique people and are really are the last women you would think would be in the forefront of opening doors for other women but there they are. Constance is in the woods teaching women how to shoot guns and do body take downs. Norma is single minding designing and implementing her pigeon program. Fleurette is pursuing her entertainment career secure in the knowledge that she is a worthy person. 

  They are wonderful role models and inspiring to read about. They are funny and good. In a world where I read too many characters I don't like it is so refreshing to read about likable people that I enjoy spending time with. I can't wait to discover what happens next.

  Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
Was this review helpful?
Finding a way and not finding excuses.........

Amy Stewart has masterfully given us the Kopp Sisters whose escapades have entertained us since the very first offering, Girl Waits with Gun. In this fifth book of the series, we find our gals sorting through their options in 1917 after Constance lost her position as Deputy Sheriff in Hackensack, New Jersey. Newly elected sheriff with a bad attitude shows Constance the door. Weak in substance, this guy just doesn't want any competition from a woman with superior skills and intelligence.

Norma, second in command in this lively sister trio, has developed a mobile pigeon cart aimed at carrying military messages as the country balances on the brink of war. She's enrolled the sisters in the National Service School which was organized to mobilize women for wartime service. Youngest in the lineup, Fleurette, would be perfect with her sewing and fashion background for creating uniforms. No one wishes the alternative of staying back home on the family farm.

Upon arriving at Camp Chevy Chase in Maryland, our gals are caught up in the mix of a drop-off-and-deliver chaos as parents wave goodbye to their daughters. With over 200 women volunteers waiting for orders, the camp turns into a tent setup with awkward hands but determined attitudes. We'll meet a bevy of women from varying backgrounds and spouting lippy remarks. Nothing like baptism by fire.

The Camp Matron, Geneva Nash, takes quite the tumble and breaks her leg. In a heartbeat, Constance finds herself at the head of the pack without warning or preparation. But Amy Stewart always guarantees a quirky adventure with the Kopp Sisters. There's never a situation that Constance can't handle. This time, she'll have her hands full with a number of high-flying women with off the wall complications. These women have been used to thinking that orders were just suggestions........until they meet Constance.

Amy Stewart has engaged in some deep research for this one. She walks in characters from real life situations of the time and butters them with a bit of fictional tang. Two prior characters will find themselves on stage from a previous book. And we'll even have an unexpected murder dragged in on the heels of one of these lovely ladies. As things begin to wind down in the ending, the Kopp Sisters will be mulling over which doorway to pass through for the future. Whatever their choice, I know we'll all be booking a ticket to that destination ASAP. So get on it, Amy Stewart.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and to the talented Amy Stewart for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
I love the author and this series, which was very well written.  As always, interesting and thoughtful but super entertaining!
Was this review helpful?
The Kopp Sisters on the March is the fifth book in the Kopp Sisters series. Let me start by prefacing that I was super excited to read this book as I really loved the previous four. Amy Stewart has a way of making the past come alive and absorbing the reader in the story. Kopp Sisters on the March takes place in 1917 as the sisters leave New Jersey to join camp Chevy Chase as America prepares for World War I. I love how these books have it all, humor, mystery and a great story.
Was this review helpful?
Episode 5 in the Kopp sisters' fascinating life as told by author Amy Stewart. The previous books have been closely related to real events as lived by these three fascinating women. Apparently they were very quiet in 1917 so in this book Stewart has imagined how they may have spent part of that year according to what was taking place in America at that time.

Poor Constance has lost her job after the appointment of a new Sheriff and has gone into retreat at the farm. Norma decides that all three of the them should go to a National Service School, a type of training camp for women to develop skills which could aid the war effort. Norma takes her pigeons, Fleurette makes plans to provide an entertainment for the camp, and Constance quickly finds herself in charge of the whole thing and happily able to use her skills in maintaining discipline and good organisation.

By the end it seems the three of them are all about to go off in different but hopefully fulfilling directions. I am already looking forward to the next book!
Was this review helpful?