THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY by Cat Winters
Kirkus Star

THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY

Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A biracial teen seeks justice for her murdered father in Prohibition-era Oregon

The daughter of a white woman and an African-American man whose marriage was not recognized by the law, 16-year-old Hanalee has few legal rights during the 1920s, an era of extreme intolerance exacerbated by the ever present specter of racial violence from the Ku Klux Klan. Hanalee’s father, “the last full-blooded Negro in Elston, Oregon,” was struck and killed by a drunk-driving teenager a year earlier. When the teen is released from prison, he tells Hanalee that the doctor who tended to her father the night of the accident is the real killer—the doctor who just happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather. With clear parallels to Hamlet, Hanalee struggles to uncover the truth about her father’s death, hoping the truth will protect her and those she loves and put her father’s wandering soul to rest. A fast-paced read with multiple twists, the novel delivers a history lesson wrapped inside a murder mystery and ghost story. Winters deftly captures the many injustices faced by marginalized people in the years following World War I as well as a glimmer of hope for the better America to come.

A riveting story of survival, determination, love, and friendship. (Historical mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 8th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1915-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015




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