The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

SteepAndThornyWay_CVThe Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

About: A sixteen-year-old biracial girl in rural Oregon in the 1920s searches for the truth about her father’s death while avoiding trouble from the Ku Klux Klan in this YA historical novel inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.

Ofilia’s Thoughts: I was really surprised by the premise of this book. It is very unique and I had no idea how Winters would incorporate the Hamlet angle. Part mystery, historical fiction and fantasy, Winters keeps the story moving with twists and turns all along the way.

Hanalee is restless after her father’s death and she thinks it’s because the man who killed him has been released from jail, but it turns out that there is much more to the story. There are a lot of issues explored in the novel and at times it feels a bit overwhelming. However, Hanalee is a young woman of action and you can’t help but be on her side. Black and white photos of people and places at the time the story takes place are found at the beginning of each chapter helping to set the scene.

Winters’ timeline at the end of the book explains Eugenics Laws in Oregon and it is fascinating. Some laws weren’t repealed until very recently, which is terrifying. I recommend it to those that like mystery with a little supernatural sprinkled in and for those that enjoy historical fiction.

Reviewed by Ofilia

About Audviral, Mistress of the Stacks

Teen Services Librarian for the Rita & Truett Smith Public Library of Wylie, Texas.
This entry was posted in family, heroine, historical fiction, murder, mystery, Ofilia, supernatural, young adult and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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