In the sweeping storytelling tradition of Larry McMurty's Lonesome Dove and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain, Whiskey When We're Dry transcends the straight-and-narrow Western to land among the classics.
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 neighbours, she cuts her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains. Her goal? To find her gun-slinging fugitive 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 of her own, Jess must out-manoeuvre whose who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right. Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, the story brims with page-turning Western action, but its approach is modern and nuanced, touching on powerful issues from gender and sexuality to family and identity.
“A powerful, impressive novel with a visceral sense of time and place.” TIMES
“True Grit meets Blood Meridian meets Mulan” STUART NEVILLE
“Whiskey When We're Dry transcends many of the genre's limitations” SUNDAY TIMES
“The book is clearly a child of True Grit... but Whiskey When We re Dry plays it straight and Larison makes the reader believe in the unlikely premise through the remarkable skill with which Jess narrative voice is realised” TELEGRAPH
“Larison imbues the romance and wide-open spaces of the classic western with modern gender and racial awareness, giving space to those left out of the classic Old West mythos, but the main draw is Jesse s narrative voice, all folksy eloquence peppered with grit and determination” HERALD SCOTLAND
“The punch and intensity of the writing and the voice of Jess are rather remarkable...” DAILY MAIL