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The Whip

The Whip

4.5 41
by Karen Kondazian

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Best Western, 2013 International Book Awards
2013 National Indie Excellence Awards winner, Western fiction category
Award-Winner in the 'Fiction: Historical' category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards
Gold Prize in Historical Fiction & Best Western Fiction - 2013 Global Ebook Awards

THE WHIP is inspired by the true story


Best Western, 2013 International Book Awards
2013 National Indie Excellence Awards winner, Western fiction category
Award-Winner in the 'Fiction: Historical' category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards
Gold Prize in Historical Fiction & Best Western Fiction - 2013 Global Ebook Awards

THE WHIP is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man.
As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer. Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.

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Hansen Publishing Group, LLC
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Barnes & Noble
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922 KB

Meet the Author

THE WHIP is Karen Kondazian's debut novel. She is an award winning theatre actress and has starred in over fifty television shows and films, including the role of Kate Holliday in the TV movie, The Shootout at the OK Corral. Kondazian is also author of The Actor's Encyclopedia of Casting Directors

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The Whip: A Novel Inspired by the Story of Charley Parkhurst 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly hesitated before reading Karen Kondazian's "The Whip" because I was not sure I would enjoy a book which was historical fiction about the old west. However, I truly surprised myself and loved every step of Charley Parkhurst's adventure! Ms Kondazian wrote a beautiful and integrating story that captured my heart and I could not put the book down. A true "page turner" and I learned so much about true Americana along the way. Captivating, inspiring, emotional and enjoyable! Congrats Ms Kondazian! You sure know how to tell a story! I recommended your book to so many of my friends and everyone agrees! Looking forward to another novel from you!
Gary4 More than 1 year ago
Five Stars! Unbelievable story!. Captivatting from start to finish. Hope we hear more from this author in the near future. Gary Toronto, Canada
NatashaBoris More than 1 year ago
What a joy to read this book. No repetition, and surprises at every turn. This is the story of the first female stage coach driver, although they don't know she is a female. The reasons for her decisions are heartbreaking and inspiring. I truly enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who absolutely loves historical fiction but has never had an interest in Westerns, I was delighted to find in The Whip a captivating, colorful, and authentic story.  Karen Kondazian captures the spirit of Charley Parkurst, a legendary and extraordinary person about whom I had known very little.  I would never have guessed that this was Karen's first novel, and I sincerely hope that she continues to write in this genre. I'm recommended this to my book club.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought The Whip based on a friend's recommendation. Score one for friendship--this was one of the best novels of the old west I've ever had the pleasure to read. Ms. Kondasian brings rich evocative writing, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry, to her telling of the true life tale of Charlie Parkhurst, who (no spoiler alert here) passed as a man for years to become one of the most celebrated of the famous California stage coach drivers. This amazing woman comes so vividly to life that your only regret is that you can't spend more time with her by the time the story ends. Inspirational. Heartfelt. Rich. And thrilling to boot. I'm paying forward the recommendation. Great, absorbing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
an enjoyable, quick read. Interesting the perspective the author took, creating a backstory for a mysterious, historical figure for whom not much is really known. It is an interesting exploratory into what can drive a person for survival and a testament to human resiliance in light of adversity
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read this book at our book club and everyone liked it!! Good story based on a real woman and her story of survival as a orphaned chilld and then in the wilds of northern ca. Highly recommend this book for bookclubs and anyone( man or woman) who wants to read a book that is excellent from the first page to the last page.
RachelintheOC More than 1 year ago
Great book! Kondazian is a gifted storyteller and writes so visually, I found myself casting the movie in my head as I read it!  Her portrayal of Charley is compelling -- I eagerly turned pages wanting to find out her story. The author wrote each character and scene so well, and I even cried at once point (okay, two).  Hollywood would do well to recognize this book and make a movie right quick! If they want help with the casting, I'm available. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Whip is an engaging and thrilling novel. It is narrated brilliantly. The dialogue is clear, concise, and sharp. All the characters sound and speak differently. Yes, they curse because after all that is how historically speaking Cowboys spoke in the Old West. It is a fast action paced character driven revenge Western story. A must read for anyone who is fascinated by the life of the true story of Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst who was a woman that dressed like a man in order to survive making a decent living as a stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo during the Gold Rush Era. It is evident that The Whip would make a wonderful academy award winning Western film for the narration, mood, and tone of the novel is cinematic in the same vein of the classic Western film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book!!! I just could not put the book down because it was such a good story. Highly recommend.
Wrytoasts More than 1 year ago
Karen Kondazian has a way with words that just about takes your breath away. She's smart, funny and unapologetic. This is one of the best novels I've ever read... and I've read a mountain of them. Heartbreakingly beautiful characters and truly unpredictable twists and turns had me panicked, repeatedly checking how many pages I had left. Warning: This is a story whose ending you will mourn. Have your tissues ready.
Sherbon More than 1 year ago
This book was so well written that I couldn't put it down; however, loved it so much that I didn't want it to end. Karen is such a good writer that I felt like I was the main character, Charley, feeling her pain and pleasure. I enjoyed the book so much, that 2 months later, I have started reading it again!
desertbiblio More than 1 year ago
The title is appropriate because it not only describes the story but also how tightly the reader is held, moved and grabbed. What a great story and one where not a word or phrase is wasted in this well-written story of life in the old west that we have never heard before. More importantly it is a very personal story about how a person can triumph in their own way while keeping a secret that would have made their journey impossible. Couldn't put it down and finished it wanting to know more and especially read more by Karen Kondazian. She has certainly brought her talents as an actress and story-teller to her writing and especially how to "whip" an audience. Don't miss this book if you want to be informed, enlightened, and moved.
YvonneJ More than 1 year ago
What a great read. I love historical novels set during the late 1800's and this one did not disappoint. It has everything a great western needs (horses, gunfights, stagecoaches, bar room brawls, etc.) and so much more. I loved it from beginning to end. If there is an award for best cover art, this book should win.
wwlewisIII More than 1 year ago
The book I discovered quite by accident. Once I received it on my nook, I could hardly put it down. It is a great story, wonderfully crafted, and it catches you on the first page and holds you tight through the entire read. This book should be brought to the silver screen.
mommybooknerd More than 1 year ago
There are stories and books that to come to you by chance and when you turn the very last page you feel invigorated becasue you found such a poignant and moving story, that is what happened with THE WHIP. Karen Kondazian weaves a story of American history where love crosses boundaries and where heartache and love is represented at it truest and rawest form. As a woman, I admired Charlotte "Charley" Packhurst. I was incredibly moved by her struggle and her will to make her own life, at some great costs. Charley kept on trudging forward despite the obstacles she faced. Kondazian really caputured the essense of what it must have been like for Charlotte to be Charley for all those years. Written in a nicely paced and engaging style, you will become so entrenched in the story and become emotionationally invested in Charley and the supporting characters. I have to admit that I am not normally drawn to historical/romance/western, but after reading what THE WHIP was written about, I could not turn it away. I feel ever so grateful to have read THE WHIP and to share this raving review with you. I have to agree with the other reviewers saying they could see this becoming a big screen hit. THE WHIP will not disappoint and I highly recommend it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never posted a review before, but I was so moved by this book, I had to share my experience. First of all I literally could not put it down, reading it in less than 24 hours (on a Sunday), woke up early on Monday morning to finish. The bare bones of Charley's story is fascinating in itself. I thought Ms. Kondazian's interpretation was brilliant. From feeling so sorry for infant Charlotte in the orphanage, to Charley's death, this was an emotional roller coaster ride. Ms. K is an amazing author. I hung on her every word. I hope this is not her last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captivatting story... Great book, very easy to read.... Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and well edited.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting bit of American history turned into great story. I wonder how many other women in that era denied the restrictions placed on women back then and lived as a man?
CimBookClub More than 1 year ago
What a fun read!  Karen Kondazian’s novel, “The Whip”, does a wonderful job giving the reader a walk through 1800’s America through the eyes of Charley Parkhurst.  At times it is overwhelmingly sad and other times funny, ironic and suspenseful.  This makes for a book that is hard to put down!   I read this book because it was being reviewed by our book club.  We had a great time discussing strong women the lengths one may go to in order to survive.
MarkB43 More than 1 year ago
Interesting read about the old west. Provocative, a great journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five Stars! Great story for historical fiction.
emileDF More than 1 year ago
If you like women with 'True Grit' then Charley Parkhurst is your woman or man, if you prefer.  A character one comes to respect, Charley overcomes many of life's adversities by recreating herself in a new role in a man's world.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite The Whip by Karen Kondazian is a Western inspired by the true story of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst, an extraordinary woman who lived most of her life in the west as a man. In The Whip, Charley sets out West seeking revenge after falling in love with a runaway slave, then losing him and their family in a horrible way. Dressed as a man she's determined to track down the killer. Once out West, she becomes a stagecoach driver, “Whips”, and along the way to her revenge she kills a famous outlaw, becomes the first woman to vote, and has her housekeeper, unaware that she's a woman, fall in love with her. An extraordinary tale worthy of a movie, The Whip by Karen Kondazian is steeped in historical drama, action, and wonder. Charley Parkhurst makes for a compelling main character, and especially since The Whip is inspired by a true story, it makes for a very compelling read. It was also very well researched (I loved all the historical tid-bits about piano legs, cat-hauling, and the stagecoach business itself), and Kondazian's novel unfolds cinematically; you can almost feel the sun's rays and smell the horse sweat. While the West has always provided a deep well of creative content, it is always the lesser known, but no less interesting stories that provide the most satisfaction. The Whip by Karen Kondazian is a truly fascinating novel of one woman's determination and grit in the heart of the Old West.