Synopses & Reviews
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.
“Hanalee is a fantastic lead, armed with a two-barreled pistol and led by the lost soul of her father . . . the backdrop of Prohibition-era Oregon, punched up with bootleggers, a hidden gay relationship, the public and private face of the Ku Klux Klan, and a dash of the supernatural makes for a delightfully unpredictable page-turner . . . Unique and riveting historical fiction that feels anything but dated.” School Library Journal (starred review)
“A powerful, gripping, and exceptionally well-executed glimpse into a little-known corner of U.S. history." Booklist (starred review)
"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.” Kirkus (starred review)
About the Author
Cat Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing.
Her critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, and a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee. Her second novel, The Cure for Dreaming, was named to ALA's 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project, the 2014 Tiptree Award Longlist, and VOYA's 2014 Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror. Her first novel for adults, The Uninvited, debuted in 2015, and her upcoming novels include The Steep and Thorny Way (YA fiction, March 2016) and Yesternight (adult fiction, Summer 2016). She's also a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.
Cat lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two kids.