Thursday, August 25, 2016

Josie Earp - A Bold and Brash Woman of the Wild West

Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp
Bold, brash, daring, spontaneous, audacious, opinionated, and Jewish, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp was one of the most colorful women of the wild west. After running away from home, she met and fell in love with sheriff, gambler, and businessman Wyatt Earp. Together, they conquered enemies, established the law, and socialized with some of America’s most fascinating people.
But Wyatt Earp was not the first man she fell in love with and became engaged to.  
Wyatt Earp
After running away from home at seventeen, she joined the Pauline Markham Theater Company. There she met the notorious rake, Johnny Behan – a divorced and bankrupt gambler and womanizer. After convincing her parents of his honorable intentions of marriage, he convinced them to let Josie move in with him in the town of Tombstone. After she moved in, however, he dragged his heels and a wedding never transpsired.

Johnny Behan
That’s when she met the handsome Wyatt Earp. Their attraction was mutual at first sight. As vendettas and trials and fights broke out, Wyatt and Josie came out unscathed at the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Afterwards, the two travelled around the south western United States.

Doc Holliday
When Wyatt died, Josie buried his ashes in the Marcus family plot in the Little Hills of Eternity, near San Francisco. She joined him in death in 1944 and was buried with him. Their gravesite attracts many visitors. Once, even their tombstone was stolen.
An exciting biographical novel about Josie has just been released. 

Two decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.
But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…
At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standing recalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of a spunky heroine who sought her happy ending in a lawless outpost—with a fierce will and an unflagging spirit.


The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the brash and colorful first person narrative of Josie Earp. It's a bold, blunt, and in-your-face style and I loved it!

The book reveals to the reader, Josie's rebel heart, a woman who was not afraid to break away from her conventional Jewish upbringing to chase her passion - theatre and the notorious rake, Johnny Behan. At first, Johnny appears honorable, visiting Josie's parents and asking for her hand in marriage, then sweeping her away to Tombstone long before the vows could be uttered.

Almost immediately, Josie meets Wyatt Earp and the attraction between the two was instantaneous. In the meantime, Josie sets up a home with Johnny, but as time progresses, he drags his heels on all promises he made to her regarding marriage, home, and finances. She even discovers his womanizing and frequent trips to the local bordello. That's when she reaches out to Wyat. As the tensions heat up between these two men, Josie is helpless to thwart the gunfight at the OK Corral. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, especially the voice and the way the author brought to life the characters involved. I definitely enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it for lovers of western historical fiction and women's biographical fiction.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit

1 comment:

Sue Bursztynski said...

It's fascinating to think that people we only know as characters in Westerns not only lived and breathed but lived right into the twentieth century. I believe Wyatt Earp was an adviser on some of the early Westerns.