website statistics Whiskey When We're Dry - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Whiskey When We're Dry

Availability: Ready to download

In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest l In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah—dead or alive. Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right. Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning achievement, an epic as expansive as America itself—and a reckoning with the myths that are entwined with our history.


Compare

In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest l In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah—dead or alive. Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right. Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning achievement, an epic as expansive as America itself—and a reckoning with the myths that are entwined with our history.

30 review for Whiskey When We're Dry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Gunfights, revenge, desperation and whiskey of course. Whiskey has much to answer for, in this Western set in the Midwest in 1885. It also gives us a very engaging character, one who in a strong voice narrates her own story. Jess, is a young girl when a concurrence of unfortunate events leaves her alone on the family homestead. After trying to figure out a way to survive, and keep her home intact, she decides to ride out and find her brother. Noah is a man who is wanted by the law, as he is now Gunfights, revenge, desperation and whiskey of course. Whiskey has much to answer for, in this Western set in the Midwest in 1885. It also gives us a very engaging character, one who in a strong voice narrates her own story. Jess, is a young girl when a concurrence of unfortunate events leaves her alone on the family homestead. After trying to figure out a way to survive, and keep her home intact, she decides to ride out and find her brother. Noah is a man who is wanted by the law, as he is now a thief and a criminal, with a hefty award placed on his capture or his death. Knowing this is impossible as a woman, she disguises herself as a young man, and sets off on her journey. She has one invaluable skill, she is a sharpshooter, shooting better than most men. The harshness of life on the range, is well portrayed, as are the limited choices for women. Jess, is a great observer and she chronicles much about the ironies of life. Her journey will take her to unexpected places, unexpected roles. From the beginning one feels the tension, as more and more danger challenges her resolve. She is a fascinating two dimensional character, definitely one who challenges the stereotype of the times. Those she meets, a few she takes to heart all add a gripping element to the story, as does their stories. The ending is quite violent and who survives is the sum of the novel. Love this resurgence of the Western novel, it is such an integral part of our nation's history. Not without faults though, to be honest, parts of this novel could have been tightened, certainly shortened, in particular the middle section. Still, it conveys a fascinating look at those who live on the fringes of society. One quote in particular, for me, showed how relevant views back then, could still be used now, in countries always at war. "No, Harney. It is not revenge that interests me. That man stole my son. I, on the other hand , have pledged myself to his daughter. This is not about your uses for me. This is about the children who come after. This is about the world we build for them, for they are our saviors." ARC from Edelweiss.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzi

    Because it is nowhere in the marketing copy, I feel compelled to spread the word that this book is VERY GAY. It is also V E R Y G O O D.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    Definition of Wild West from the Merrim-Webster Dictionary : the western U.S. in its frontier period characterized by roughness and lawlessness. This perfectly describes the atmosphere of this story. The historical significance of the time is wonderfully depicted here and in itself is captivating. However, there are other things that made this a great reading experience. John Larison gives us a character who could be described as a bad ass sharpshooter, but who is so much more, a multidimensiona Definition of Wild West from the Merrim-Webster Dictionary : the western U.S. in its frontier period characterized by roughness and lawlessness. This perfectly describes the atmosphere of this story. The historical significance of the time is wonderfully depicted here and in itself is captivating. However, there are other things that made this a great reading experience. John Larison gives us a character who could be described as a bad ass sharpshooter, but who is so much more, a multidimensional character. He gives us descriptions so visual of the places, the things that happen. The writing is beautiful in many places. I know this is a prepublished version, so keep that in mind, but I just had to share this early paragraph that drew me in: “Our kin homesteaded where desert met lake. The hills in the near distance wore blankets of pine. Patterns of aspen marked the water. Beyond them the mountains stood blue on clear days and devoured the sun long before it left this world. From the home Pa built us we couldn’t see the lake but we could see the willows along its edge and we could hear the wingbeats of doves.” Somewhere in the Midwest in 1885, seventeen year old Jessilyn, motherless since birth finds herself alone when her brother Noah leaves and her father dies. She has her horse, her father’s guns and his fiddle. She is also armed with the shooting skills she learned by watching father teach her brother. As a woman, she knows none of this will help her on the quest she embarks on to find her brother so she disguises herself as a man, calls herself Jessie. It’s a hard trek to find her brother - hunger, people along the way who pose danger, violent shootouts and whiskey galore on her journey to Noah. This is rough and lawless and violent and everything you might expect from a western, but there are softer, touching moments. She comes to know about her mother from her brother Noah’s stories which she cherishes. There’s a poignant moment when she realizes as she meets a character named Greenie that he was the first friend she ever had. Throughout, the heavy heart she carries for some of the things she’s done is heartbreaking . Make no mistake, this is a gritty and violent read, but if you are in the mood for a western, this is one I’d recommend. What I’ve mentioned here merely touches on the story and the cast of characters. Somewhat long winded in the middle, but it is still worth reading. While I was reading this I kept thinking that someone should make a movie out of this. I read an interview with the author and sure enough someone bought the rights even before the book was published. I’ll go see the movie. I received an advanced copy of this book from Viking through Edelweiss.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    A gunslinging, Giddy up, western style read. This is some powerful writing about a girl who loses her pa on their ranch and she is now a gun toting ‘boy’ on the search for her infamous and wanted outlaw brother. The language and dialogue - fabulous!! A good ole fashion western with a twist - of whiskey one might say. But when the whisky runs dry, life changes in the most dramatic And harsh way. Blood is thicker than water. 4⭐️

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    “Shooting ain’t no life for females”. “Yessir”. “I practiced even though I knew I was to be a ranch wife in this valley and wouldn’t never have cause to know such skills”. The year was 1885... Jessilyn Harney fancied the notion of being a Straight-Eye-Shooter. Her bother Noah Harney was 5 years older. He and their Pa was always arguing until one day Noah simply bolted...after hitting his own pa in the eye. Noah said he was sorry to his younger sister - but couldn’t take it anymore. The siblings did “Shooting ain’t no life for females”. “Yessir”. “I practiced even though I knew I was to be a ranch wife in this valley and wouldn’t never have cause to know such skills”. The year was 1885... Jessilyn Harney fancied the notion of being a Straight-Eye-Shooter. Her bother Noah Harney was 5 years older. He and their Pa was always arguing until one day Noah simply bolted...after hitting his own pa in the eye. Noah said he was sorry to his younger sister - but couldn’t take it anymore. The siblings didn’t see each other for the next 5 years. But with her brother gone, Jessilyn thought what other choice did she have but to get married. She rode her horse, Ingrid, to town and went straight to the sheriffs office first. Jessilyn - now 17 years old - told Sheriff Younger that her pa sent her to inquire about marriage. While at the sheriffs office, Jessilyn discovered that Noah was a wanted man for crimes he had done. There was a $300 reward for anyone who could find him - dead or alive. Jessilyn planned on bringing her brother back alive herself. So Jessilyn rode off on her horse, Ingrid. Her Pa had passed ... She disguised herself as a boy.....binds her chest...deepens her voice and learned to walk with a male swagger. At times she even smeared charcoal to her face and hands to better conceal her age. She then started going by the name Jesse. Later...she took a fake last name too: Jesse Montclair. So Jessilyn/Jesse did what she needed to do to survive. There were plenty of saloons in a town call Pearlsville that she came to -the biggest city she ever saw. Jesse put her best skills to work. Men in every saloon she rode to - one after the next - would be willing to gamble. Jesse bet the old geezers that they couldn’t shoot their empty liquor bottle from ten paces. The men were always confident they could.. but Jesse was a kid to reckon with. In three days she made twenty-six dollars - more money she’d had owned her entire life. She had enough money to buy herself a meal. After awhile though, word spread about Jesse. No one would bet against “the kid with the slashes on his face”, any longer. Things turn violent at times for one reason or another. Jesse could crack the chin of a patron with the butt of her pistol as easy as you and I brush our teeth. She took some blows herself at times: backs of her knees or a beating enough to crack a rib - but one thing never happened. Jessilyn, via Jesse, was never once raped. Refreshing- in itself!!!! Engrossing adventure- and so many different types of folks.. Indians, whites, blacks, Mexicans, Frenchman, women, kids. Boy peddlers offering whiskey bottles for a dime. Others shouting about rides in their horses and wagons. What amazed Jesse - is she had never seen so many rich people in her life until arriving in the city of Pearsville. Ladies with two foot feathers blooming from their hats. Men who dangled watches from gold chains and wore shiny boots. As far as her brother, Noah....the price of his corpse was rising. He was worth 10,000 to the lawmen now. Jesse would tear down posters faster than the sheriffs office put them up. Her brother’s name appeared in the local papers. He was blamed for holdups in different states on the same day... but Jesse noticed those papers never said anything about the possibility that Noah being blamed for crimes he didn’t commit. I was wondering myself at that point. When Jesse wanted to become a militiaman- a guardsman said Jesse needed army experience. She/he told the truth...( ha-not about her sexual identity), but that she had no army experience. It was going to take some effort to even be allowed to see the Governor who could decide if Jesse *Montclair* could become a militant... work for the government. Well, that was ‘fine shooting’ was all it took. The Governor was impressed! Even though this book is a western- not usually my first choice genre - there are so many touching moments. One of those moments was when I felt a closeness that quickly developed between the Governor and Jesse. My heart started to break - because after months of surviving on her own essentially - almost forgetting herself that she ‘was’ a female - it was the first release from loneliness I felt ‘for’ her. I was reminded how valuable the intimacy- friendship of another human being was as vital as food is for starvation. But...my heart breaks later again with different feelings ... ....I’m reminded how rare it is to find ‘life long’ true friendship- relationships. I can’t give any spoilers - but as the journey continues to the end.. things get more complex- scary adventures- betrayals - disappointing moments too - We meet other minor interesting characters.. but.. it’s our feelings for Jessilyn that continues to grow. There is a little predictably in the storytelling, but it doesn’t matter - Jessilyn...and the language narration is what makes this book special. *.....the writing *d r a w s * you in right away! I see film possibilities.. 🎬📽🎞 4.5 stars Thanks Angela for planting the seed for me to pick this book. Memorable one!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    This is a tale that digs a little deeper, touching on things one might not typically expect from a straight out western.  The year is 1885, with plenty of disorder and very little law in the Midwest. Noah Harney and his gang are riding roughshod, taking what they want and distributing as they see fit.  Heroes or outlaws?  They all have prices on their heads.   There is some rough stuff in here.  Marauding Indians and Mother Nature.  Shoot-em-ups.  Hunker down and take a gander as the cacophonous This is a tale that digs a little deeper, touching on things one might not typically expect from a straight out western.  The year is 1885, with plenty of disorder and very little law in the Midwest. Noah Harney and his gang are riding roughshod, taking what they want and distributing as they see fit.  Heroes or outlaws?  They all have prices on their heads.   There is some rough stuff in here.  Marauding Indians and Mother Nature.  Shoot-em-ups.  Hunker down and take a gander as the cacophonous caws of ravens and the heckling jaybirds give warning.  Could be a bear, mayhap a horse thief.  You'll be given the opportunity to reflect on the way we hide behind our words, what we say in stark contrast to what we mean.  Loss of faith, betrayal, threats, (view spoiler)[and a misbegotten trip into town, (hide spoiler)] all play into this fine story.  And whiskey.  Lots of whiskey.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    HOLEEE LORD. there is not a literary award qualified for this novel and I will not diminish it by adding my commentary on it. I'm humbled by the idea that someone who can write like this is okay with the rest of us jokers being allowed to read it. I’ve set my copy aside for my daughter with the same reverence that I’ve saved my grandmother’s china for her. HOLEEE LORD. there is not a literary award qualified for this novel and I will not diminish it by adding my commentary on it. I'm humbled by the idea that someone who can write like this is okay with the rest of us jokers being allowed to read it. I’ve set my copy aside for my daughter with the same reverence that I’ve saved my grandmother’s china for her.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathrine ☯️

    4+ 🥃 🥃 🥃 🥃 No library wait for this one which means some readers are missing out. The initial 100 pages went down as smooth and fast as Scottish Comfort Jamie Frasier Red. Wait, I meant Southern Comfort Johnnie Walker Red. To darn easy to get those mixed up. Despite that confusion this is no romance. The pages and interest level after that just kept firing like a Winchester repeater. Loved David James Duncan’s assessment: “An orphan girl straight out of a Gillian Welch song, betrayed in every way im 4+ 🥃 🥃 🥃 🥃 No library wait for this one which means some readers are missing out. The initial 100 pages went down as smooth and fast as Scottish Comfort Jamie Frasier Red. Wait, I meant Southern Comfort Johnnie Walker Red. To darn easy to get those mixed up. Despite that confusion this is no romance. The pages and interest level after that just kept firing like a Winchester repeater. Loved David James Duncan’s assessment: “An orphan girl straight out of a Gillian Welch song, betrayed in every way imaginable by the brutality that ‘won the West,’ is left no way to hew a family or honor but to become a virtuoso cross-dressed killer of Manifest Destiny’s men.” If you appreciate a good western yarn check this one out but definitely not for those who might need smelling salts. I’ll have another straight up with an aspirin chaser. It’s hell getting too old and feeble to handle your drink properly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I confess that I'm always wary of female protagonists being written by male authors (and vice versa,) but I found the characterization of Jess absolutely believable. I think a reason this is true is because, while there was quite a bit of focus on gender throughout the book, it was always more important who each character was as an individual, rather than as a gender stereotype. Very enjoyable and compelling read from beginning to end. I confess that I'm always wary of female protagonists being written by male authors (and vice versa,) but I found the characterization of Jess absolutely believable. I think a reason this is true is because, while there was quite a bit of focus on gender throughout the book, it was always more important who each character was as an individual, rather than as a gender stereotype. Very enjoyable and compelling read from beginning to end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    John Larison has spun a tale of the Wild West that will keep the pages turning - and I don't usually enjoy westerns. This story is told from Jessilyn's point of view. Jessilyn's brother left after a fight with their father, and her father died soon after. She was alone on the family homestead which she worked the best she could. She finally left in search of her brother who had become an outlaw. She cut her hair and bound her chest so she would look like a boy because a girl alone would have bee John Larison has spun a tale of the Wild West that will keep the pages turning - and I don't usually enjoy westerns. This story is told from Jessilyn's point of view. Jessilyn's brother left after a fight with their father, and her father died soon after. She was alone on the family homestead which she worked the best she could. She finally left in search of her brother who had become an outlaw. She cut her hair and bound her chest so she would look like a boy because a girl alone would have been easy prey. During her search she had earned some money doing trick shooting, and the Governor discovered her and hired her as a sharpshooter - still impersonating a man. Jessilyn is a great character. I felt sad for the loss of her mother and kept hoping she would find love. The circumstances of her life made her hard and the violence that surrounded her was fierce. However much I love the character I keep feeling like I should hate her. I truly couldn't put the book down. Very well written, believable characters, vivid descriptions of the backdrop, and filled with adventure of the Old West during the times of the settlers. Loved it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    4 ☆ A western setting in 1885 post Civil War this novel tells the story of Jessilyn who’s DEFINITELY one unforgettable female protagonist - I just loved her spunk and craziness!! Whiskey is a creative and very unique story about coming-of-age, gender ambiguity, and how the power of friendship and love can blur the lines of race, class, and sexuality. Already optioned for film, this has been referred to as a feminist western - I don’t know if I’d say that, but I will say it’s different in a GOOD W 4 ☆ A western setting in 1885 post Civil War this novel tells the story of Jessilyn who’s DEFINITELY one unforgettable female protagonist - I just loved her spunk and craziness!! Whiskey is a creative and very unique story about coming-of-age, gender ambiguity, and how the power of friendship and love can blur the lines of race, class, and sexuality. Already optioned for film, this has been referred to as a feminist western - I don’t know if I’d say that, but I will say it’s different in a GOOD WAY from other westerns I’ve read. I highly enjoyed it. *Caution for violence

  12. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    A brilliant adventure story that redefines home and family. Set in the untamed West, the reader follows Jess, a girl who cleverly disguises herself as a man to travel dangerous territory to find her outlaw brother. On her journey, she discovers what extents she's willing to go in order to keep her identity and stay alive. The people she interacts with both help and hinder her. All the while you're rooting for Jess to survive just another day and get just a little big closer to her missing brothe A brilliant adventure story that redefines home and family. Set in the untamed West, the reader follows Jess, a girl who cleverly disguises herself as a man to travel dangerous territory to find her outlaw brother. On her journey, she discovers what extents she's willing to go in order to keep her identity and stay alive. The people she interacts with both help and hinder her. All the while you're rooting for Jess to survive just another day and get just a little big closer to her missing brother. The writing is magnificent. It's been a long time since I saw a command of language so enthralling that you'll blink and have read 100 pages. The characters are intriguing and the story's ultimate conclusion is the perfect way to depart the wild West. I think fans of films like True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma will enjoy this book. Anyone who wants to read about the West or growing up in a difficult era will find this book fascinating. **I read this with the aid of an ARC from Viking.**

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    Loooved this book- more so I loved Jess; she was the most realistic female protagonist I’ve ever seen of the time ~ who you want to see portrayed in a Quintin Tarantino film right now. The gritty open America of the Wild West is perfectly illustrated, while the characters and their dialogue keep you glued to their stories. Jess’s journey develops in ways you can’t believe, sometimes in ways you empathize with or don’t like, while brutally living vicariously living her. Yet no matter the directio Loooved this book- more so I loved Jess; she was the most realistic female protagonist I’ve ever seen of the time ~ who you want to see portrayed in a Quintin Tarantino film right now. The gritty open America of the Wild West is perfectly illustrated, while the characters and their dialogue keep you glued to their stories. Jess’s journey develops in ways you can’t believe, sometimes in ways you empathize with or don’t like, while brutally living vicariously living her. Yet no matter the direction it takes, you just don’t want to stop reading!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison is a western epic set in the 1800s after the Civil War. The novel follows the Harney family, which includes the patriarch "Pa," rebelling son Noah and youngest daughter Jessilyn. Pa, long widowed by the loss of his Mexican wife, Rosa, due to the birth of Jessilyn, is raising his children on a well-sought after section of land while struggling to get by. As the story moves forward, strong-willed Noah soon believes he is aged beyond his years and leaves the h Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison is a western epic set in the 1800s after the Civil War. The novel follows the Harney family, which includes the patriarch "Pa," rebelling son Noah and youngest daughter Jessilyn. Pa, long widowed by the loss of his Mexican wife, Rosa, due to the birth of Jessilyn, is raising his children on a well-sought after section of land while struggling to get by. As the story moves forward, strong-willed Noah soon believes he is aged beyond his years and leaves the homestead to set out on his own. As the story unfolds, Jessilyn is forced to seek out her wayward brother in hopes of persuading him to return home to prevent the loss of the family ranch. Being fourteen years of age, Jessilyn then decides to travel as a boy because a young girl would have a rougher time traveling the west on her own. To tell more would reveal plot points in the novel best revealed through reading the novel. Whiskey When We're Dry should be listed on many Top Ten lists as the year goes on. It has already been reported the tv/movie rights have been picked up and if done correctly, Whiskey When We're Dry should be highly anticipated. The novel is 400 pages but reads more like an 800 page epic (not in length, but in scope). Not a single page or line of written word is wasted by Larison and his characters are well developed and interesting. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    "I ain't sure about Heaven, brother, but I know for certain we make our own hell." Seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself alone on an isolated mountain homestead. Her mother died birthing her, her brother Noah took off a few years back after many disagreements with their father (who became addicted to a painkilling syrup), and now she's found the remains of her father and his horse a day's ride from home. With few prospects, Jessilyn saddles up her mare Ingrid and takes off in search of "I ain't sure about Heaven, brother, but I know for certain we make our own hell." Seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself alone on an isolated mountain homestead. Her mother died birthing her, her brother Noah took off a few years back after many disagreements with their father (who became addicted to a painkilling syrup), and now she's found the remains of her father and his horse a day's ride from home. With few prospects, Jessilyn saddles up her mare Ingrid and takes off in search of Noah, who has become a wanted outlaw.  Dressing as a man she becomes Jesse Straight, a skilled sharpshooter employed by the violent Governor who happens to be leading a manhunt for Noah. Jesse gains the trust of the Governor and the respect of his men while wrestling with Noah's outlaw life and her own actions that are leading her to him. Beautifully written with rich detail in an unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning Western with a strong female MC.  Larison truly found an authentic voice for Jessilyn and her tale is absolutely captivating with her poignant observations and honesty. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, Westerns, and strong/authentic female narrators. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is a tough one to rate star-wise. It started out well enough. At the beginning I was thoroughly charmed by the voice and invested in the characters and story, then something went south in the second half. Not sure what happened, but the voice became cloying and refused to fit with the circumstances. I was no longer understanding the characters’ motivations so the narration seemed overwrought. Unless I was missing something essential. It could be me (I’m not adept at reading westerns). But a This is a tough one to rate star-wise. It started out well enough. At the beginning I was thoroughly charmed by the voice and invested in the characters and story, then something went south in the second half. Not sure what happened, but the voice became cloying and refused to fit with the circumstances. I was no longer understanding the characters’ motivations so the narration seemed overwrought. Unless I was missing something essential. It could be me (I’m not adept at reading westerns). But add to that the violence in the last parts and, by the last quarter of the book, I was more than ready for it to end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tara Rock

    4.5 Stars. Excellent; the more one read the better it got. This one has it all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Thank you Penguin Books for offering this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. Whiskey When We’re Dry is about a seventeen year girl named Jessilyn, motherless since birth, lives with her father and a brother named Noah on a ranch. Noah and her Pa got in a fight that crack her fathers skull. After the falling out, Noah decided to leave the ranch. Jesse decided to help her Pa until he fell from his horse and passed away. Jesse wanted to do the right thing by riding out to find Noah and bring him back to Thank you Penguin Books for offering this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. Whiskey When We’re Dry is about a seventeen year girl named Jessilyn, motherless since birth, lives with her father and a brother named Noah on a ranch. Noah and her Pa got in a fight that crack her fathers skull. After the falling out, Noah decided to leave the ranch. Jesse decided to help her Pa until he fell from his horse and passed away. Jesse wanted to do the right thing by riding out to find Noah and bring him back to the ranch. It is dangerous for a young woman riding alone in the west. With no options, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest and sets off with her horse named Ingrid. The adventure begins with Jesse getting a job hired as a sharpshooter by the state Governor who loves betting and winning. Jesse gets information about Noah and that he’s a wanted man for stealing gold, robbing stage coaches, and shooting armed guards. This adventure is unforgettable. Raw and gritty with twists and surprises.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    WOW. Jess is a heroine for the ages. This book is incredible - if you like historical fiction, stories of settling the West, and powerful coming-of-age tales, you won't be able to put this down. Family, friendship, loyalty, perseverance - a fantastic read. WOW. Jess is a heroine for the ages. This book is incredible - if you like historical fiction, stories of settling the West, and powerful coming-of-age tales, you won't be able to put this down. Family, friendship, loyalty, perseverance - a fantastic read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Portia

    I am doing the Book Riot 2018 Read Harder Challenge this year and one of the requirements was to read a western.  I am not a big western reader (I am incredibly squeamish and don't handle blood and violence very well) so I was daunted by this one.  That was, until our Penguin rep, Brian, came into the store and said, "I have a book I need you to read.  It's a Western."  I jumped on the opportunity. What I got was Whiskey When We're Dry, a western that focuses on Jessilyn, a 17 year-old girl who f I am doing the Book Riot 2018 Read Harder Challenge this year and one of the requirements was to read a western.  I am not a big western reader (I am incredibly squeamish and don't handle blood and violence very well) so I was daunted by this one.  That was, until our Penguin rep, Brian, came into the store and said, "I have a book I need you to read.  It's a Western."  I jumped on the opportunity. What I got was Whiskey When We're Dry, a western that focuses on Jessilyn, a 17 year-old girl who finds herself alone in the world following the death of her father.  What I really enjoyed about this book is that nothing came easily to Jessilyn.  She doesn't just happen to magically be the best sharpshooter.  She doesn't just happen to survive shootouts.  She doesn't succeed because of happenstance, which is the feeling I've gotten from other genre fiction like westerns (including westerns).  This book felt very realistic while still telling the story of an awesome kickass girl who involves herself in a world that is actively against her.  I am so glad there is a character like Jessilyn out there.  We need more of her.

  21. 5 out of 5

    KC

    3.5 stars. In the spring of 1885, Jessilyn finds herself an orphan after the death of her father. With her current homestead in ruins she soon realizes she has no viable option to work the land alone. She sets out imposing as a man in hopes in finding her estranged brother. The author paints a portrait of a true American western while weaving the harsh reality that comes with the territory. Coming-of-age, familial bonds, sexual exploration and adventure grace the pages of Larison's tale. I unfor 3.5 stars. In the spring of 1885, Jessilyn finds herself an orphan after the death of her father. With her current homestead in ruins she soon realizes she has no viable option to work the land alone. She sets out imposing as a man in hopes in finding her estranged brother. The author paints a portrait of a true American western while weaving the harsh reality that comes with the territory. Coming-of-age, familial bonds, sexual exploration and adventure grace the pages of Larison's tale. I unfortunately found myself bored with some of the text and disappointed with the LGBTQ aspect of the story as it came across a bit forced . This is one for those who enjoyed West by Carys Davies or Days Without End by Sebastian Barry.

  22. 4 out of 5

    amanda eve

    This book took me longer than I'd like to finish, in large part because the book moves rather slowly through the middle. This isn't to say that it's poorly paced: rather, Larison takes his time, quietly ratcheting tension and upping the stakes while managing to create a deeply evocative and emotional landscape. Gorgeous, brutal read. This book took me longer than I'd like to finish, in large part because the book moves rather slowly through the middle. This isn't to say that it's poorly paced: rather, Larison takes his time, quietly ratcheting tension and upping the stakes while managing to create a deeply evocative and emotional landscape. Gorgeous, brutal read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brian Wraight

    John Larison’s masterful debut is bighearted and heartbreaking, tender and brutal, tragic and life-affirming, action-packed and meditative. Bolstered by an unforgettable narrator and a cast of full-bodied supporting characters, it’s everything an American adventure novel should be...and then some. You won’t be able to put it down. And you most certainly won’t be able to shake it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Villines

    Whiskey When We're Dry was entertaining, which is to say that it captured my attention enough for me to read it through to the end. The book is a romp through an imaginary depiction of the Old West. Imaginary because nothing happens in anyplace that is real, or at least revealed. Much of the story comes across as cliché with its simple western dialect. The plot wanders from point to point without purpose, and things of importance are left poorly explored. The quality of the writing improves towa Whiskey When We're Dry was entertaining, which is to say that it captured my attention enough for me to read it through to the end. The book is a romp through an imaginary depiction of the Old West. Imaginary because nothing happens in anyplace that is real, or at least revealed. Much of the story comes across as cliché with its simple western dialect. The plot wanders from point to point without purpose, and things of importance are left poorly explored. The quality of the writing improves towards the end, but that always leaves me asking, why was most of the book was so mediocre up until then.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Jessilyn’s mother died while giving birth to her, so she has been raised on an isolated homestead with only her small-time cattle rancher father and her older brother, Noah. After Noah takes off one night and her father dies, she’s faced with the reality of trying to survive on her own. Desperate to find Noah, she decides to disguise herself as a man and sets off into the wild west to find him and hopefully bring him home. And ‘wild west’ it certainly is. Jessie, as she now calls herself, encount Jessilyn’s mother died while giving birth to her, so she has been raised on an isolated homestead with only her small-time cattle rancher father and her older brother, Noah. After Noah takes off one night and her father dies, she’s faced with the reality of trying to survive on her own. Desperate to find Noah, she decides to disguise herself as a man and sets off into the wild west to find him and hopefully bring him home. And ‘wild west’ it certainly is. Jessie, as she now calls herself, encounters wild animals, Indians, gunfighters and obstacles of all kinds that would deter most men, but her determination and skills with a gun pull her through. She’s a rough, tough protagonist, yet at the same time all she really needs is some motherly love. Through her eyes we see the discrepancies between men’s and women’s social spheres for this time period. Larison tells a real Western tale that’s full of grit and violence. It’s not my usual fare by any means, but it was a good read with great description of the 1880’s West and a wonderful character in Jessie.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mooney

    Absolutely brilliant. The best western I've read since Lonesome Dove. Told in a strong voice by a great protagonist, it is full of interesting characters, plenty of action and lots of whiskey - much as you'd expect from the genre. But Larison's novel is full of surprises and ideas which make it much more relevant to the world we live in today. Our narrator, a girl named Jess, sets out to find her outlaw brother, dressed as a man, her hair shorn and her breasts bound. This gives Larison the perfect Absolutely brilliant. The best western I've read since Lonesome Dove. Told in a strong voice by a great protagonist, it is full of interesting characters, plenty of action and lots of whiskey - much as you'd expect from the genre. But Larison's novel is full of surprises and ideas which make it much more relevant to the world we live in today. Our narrator, a girl named Jess, sets out to find her outlaw brother, dressed as a man, her hair shorn and her breasts bound. This gives Larison the perfect platform to explore gender, sexuality and masculinity in a unique setting. Issues of race are also handled in an original way (I won't say too much about this for fear of spoilers). Whiskey When We're Dry is, at heart, a tender, moving story about one young woman's search for identity and meaning in a man's world. Only with gunfights, sieges, horses and sharp shooting. I loved every page.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    Whiskey When We're Dry presented very strong and believable historical female heroine. I was worried to read about "another girl pretenting to be a boy" character in literature but author gave her her own voice that made her stood out. Moreover, writing style had strong historical vibes which I appreciated a lot (there is nothing worse as reading historical novel while character and writing is too modern). If only there weren't these slow boring passages. Still, recommended read for lovers of stro Whiskey When We're Dry presented very strong and believable historical female heroine. I was worried to read about "another girl pretenting to be a boy" character in literature but author gave her her own voice that made her stood out. Moreover, writing style had strong historical vibes which I appreciated a lot (there is nothing worse as reading historical novel while character and writing is too modern). If only there weren't these slow boring passages. Still, recommended read for lovers of strong heroines and historical novels.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    Review to follow

  29. 5 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison is a niche kind of book that was very difficult to read for me. The style is back in the good 'ol days of washing your clothes in the crook when when bandits roamed the street. The first quarter of the book had me interested and glued to it, wondering where it might go but the plot and story flopped for me. I was bored out of my mind and the style of the conversations, talking more country bumpkin but without the cuteness just didn't sit well with me. I felt Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison is a niche kind of book that was very difficult to read for me. The style is back in the good 'ol days of washing your clothes in the crook when when bandits roamed the street. The first quarter of the book had me interested and glued to it, wondering where it might go but the plot and story flopped for me. I was bored out of my mind and the style of the conversations, talking more country bumpkin but without the cuteness just didn't sit well with me. I felt myself drifting off and wanting to DNF the book, but I also wanted to give it a good chance. John Larison's style and commitment to it was spectacular, but it just didn't work with me. I think this book will be loved by fans of the genre! It's interesting and cool to see how he was able to continue this style and craft a story out of it. Overall, this book is wonderfully written but not in a style I could stick to. It was just too difficult to jump into. One out of five stars. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon A

    Left to tend to her father and family ranch, Jess takes on a dangerous journey in attempt to bring her brother home. On the trail, Jess discovers not only her true calling, but that home is where you are. A sweeping and breath-taking tale of the untamed west comes to life as Jess recounts her journey of the search for home and family on a harsh land. I simply loved this wild-west novel. -Great read to enjoy a dram of Whiskey and for fans of One Thousand White Women

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...