Train Robber’s Daughter (Nonfiction) Jay O'Connell (Raven River Press, $18.95), Softcover.

Jay O’Connell
Jay O’Connell

Jay O’Connell looks at the romance of outlawry from an unlikely perspective: that of the daughter of a bandit. Eva Evans’s father was Chris Evans, who partnered with John Sontag to commit several train robberies in California during the 1890s. As her father’s oldest child, Eva was privy to a shadowy world, which, out of loyalty to her father, she occasionally joined. Her father’s notoriety made her a star in the Hearst press and on the stage, but she never admitted her father’s guilt until the end of her life. Using sources such as his heroine’s rediscovered memoir and personal papers, O’Connell concludes that the story of Eva Evans is about her love for her father. With that frame, Train Robber’s Daughter tells not only the story of a famed outlaw but also the intriguing tale of how his daughter’s devotion to him shaped her own tangled life.

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