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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Outlawed by Anna North, read by Cynthia Farrell.

The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.

In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw. 

The day of her wedding, 17-year-old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.  

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, gripping saga about the search for hope in the wake of death and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.

©2021 Anna North (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"Outlawed stirs up the western with a provocative blend of alt-history and feminist consciousness. The result is a thrilling tale eerily familiar but utterly transformed.... In North’s galloping prose, it’s a fantastically cinematic adventure that turns the sexual politics of the Old West inside out." (Ron Charles, Washington Post)

"Anna North presents a far different perspective on the [Western] genre, one forged by women, Black and nonbinary people looking for the freedom, space and right to exist in a world that largely doesn’t want them.... The vividness with which she writes this world is one that’s captivating and hard to put down." (USA Today Best New Books)

"Fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale are in for a stellar ride where gender roles, sexuality, agency, and self-discovery come together, making North’s story as experimental and novel as it is classic." (Boston Globe)

What listeners say about Outlawed

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting idea

I listened to this book for a book club. I found the premise to be interesting, and I enjoyed the matter-of-fact portrayal of women and gender nonconforming people making a society for themselves. I found the characters hard to relate to, though, because of the violence they perpetrated and the oddness of some of the plot points, like the use of “baby Jesus” (why not just “Jesus?”) and the contrived-feeling idea of barren women being thrown out of towns en masse. It was enjoyable for what it was, and I appreciated the themes and setting, but I didn’t like it quite as much as I was expecting.

7 people found this helpful

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story is great, narration is awful

i will be buying this book to read myself because the story is great, but the narrator is TERRIBLE. i made it through chapter two and i’m hooked and intrigued with the story. but the narrator does this weird deep husky voice for EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER when they’re talking and it is so off-putting. so not only is it a weird sounding voice - nobody talks like that-but every character has the same weird voice. at times i got confused about who was talking because i was so distracted by it. it’s sad because eve narrator’s regular talking voice was lovely. the story is good enough that i decided at the beginning to ignore the weird voice, but then i just couldn’t take it any more. i’ll be reading this on my own.

6 people found this helpful

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Narrater

I could hardly finish the book because I kept wishing that the narrated would read the book and stop trying to sounds like different characters. Great story but the narrater was awful.

3 people found this helpful

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Be forewarned

I was surprised by the amount of bible quotes included in this story. Also, I questioned the basis of the story, that women that were not able to have children in the late 1800's were cast out and labeled witches. Seems unlikely that late in the century. Not likely to recommend it to my friends. Oh, and the narration was choppy and not well done when changing characters.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Is it over yet?

I just can not you all. The narration is just miserable. I’m currently listening now, only
30 more minutes to go. Praying 10 of it will be acknowledgements...
I would like to say the story itself made it worth while....
Exchange PLEASE and thank you!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 01-15-21

Really Strange

I started to go with 3 stars but decided 4 is fair because I did finish it, if only out of a need to write down my confused thoughts in a review. I don’t know if there’s an underlying moral message to this tale. If it’s a feminist work, it didn’t really resonate with me. I tried to just roll with it as entertainment but some of it was so odd it was hard to get lost in the story. The narrator’s use of male sounding voices for women made it confusing. She did it even when the women were not dressing up as or pretending to be men. So keeping track of characters was rough. The whole no gender thing for one of the main characters was annoying because the author didn’t use pronouns. Hearing the person’s name over and over was terrible and made me skip forward. Why not call the person “they” or even one of the new pronouns? I’m pretty open to gay and non-traditional relationships in a story. I found the randomness of the relationships in this too forced. Why were ALL of the relationships so far from the norm? Is that the feminist part that I just didn’t connect with? There was one (sort of) man/woman romance but then the man had issues that made it weird. It felt like the author tried to feminize him unnecessarily. There is not explicit sexual content which is my preference in novels. I’d rather use my imagination. These characters required a bigger imagination than mine. The setting in the past is also strange. It could have been more cohesive with a dystopian future setting instead of rewriting the past as a genderqueer fever dream.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not recommended

I did not care for this book. In my opinion it was redundant and unimaginative.

1 person found this helpful

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Who run the world...Girls!

Loved it! Total feminist, girl power type of book! Just what I needed. Not for romantic readers as it is not a story about falling in love.

1 person found this helpful

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A great book to listen to

Loved the book, it was a quick listen. the story keeps you hooked on throughout.

1 person found this helpful

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Storyline was really bad

I did not like this book at all, it was unbelievable and they killed and hunted people for crazy reasons

1 person found this helpful