THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY
Author: Cat Winters
Pub. Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format: Hardcover, eBookBook Summary:
A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.
1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.
The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.
Cat Winters is a master of historical fiction with a touch of the paranormal! Like her previous works, The Steep and Thorny way is superbly written and well researched. Cat has a gift for taking the reader on a ride through history, without ever sacrificing characterization or plot development. I truly felt as though I was in Oregon during the prohibition era.
The main character, Hanalee, is quite an interesting girl! She is a great MC and I loved following along with her as she tries to find out what happened to her father; while at the same time trying to deal with the hatred and the extreme prejudice that runs rampant in not only her town, but a large part of the US during this time.
This book is filled with some very real and ugly things that our country unfortunately went through. I loved how much Hanalee stuck to her truth during the book. She is very brave and determined, which I really admired. The paranomal aspect was super intriguing, as she could actually talk to her dead father who roamed the crossroads as a "haint", which is another word for ghost. He wasn't scary, but he did warn her of certain things and give her clues about his death.
Overall I really loved this book! The atmosphere and setting feel so real that it feels like you are there in the story! I also learned a lot about the history of this place and time, as I always do from Cat's books, without loosing any entertainment value whatsoever! A great book for anyone who enjoys their historical fiction with a sprinkling of paranormal on top!
(Photo by Tara Kelly)
Cat Winters’s critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/Oct. 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she’s a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.catwinters.com.
Find Cat Online:
- 5 winners will receive a finished copy of THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY
- US Only
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