The Steep and Thorny Way

The Steep and Thorny Way

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
3
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"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'"--
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781419719158
1419719157
9781419723506
Characteristics: 335 pages ;,22 cm
Alternative Title: Steep and thorny way.

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marthabwaters
Nov 27, 2016

Oh, man. This is a retelling of Hamlet set in the 1920s, and it has EVERYTHING. A female biracial lead! An LGBT secondary character! The KKK! Eugenics! Prohibition! Bootlegging! And it's great. Everything about it is SO 1920s, but not in an annoying, over-the-top kind of way -- just in an awesome way (a perfect example of this is that the one time stereotypical '20s slang makes an appearance, it is met with amusement and eyerolls). It's a great Shakespeare retelling, and it's heavy stuff, but it differs enough from the original that it ends up not going where you think it's going to go, and it's the better for it. This is the second Hamlet retelling I've read in the past month (the other being Ian McEwan's latest, Nutshell), and I'm sorry, literary snobs -- but this one is better. It's moving and page-turning and really, really good.

j
joywolf83
Aug 26, 2016

My goodness. You know how start reading a book and you just know instantly its gonna be good? Some books you don't know, they take a while to get going. Not this one. Beautiful cover, pictures of the era...it's obvious someone put alot of thought into this book.

Based on the story of Hamlet. Each chapter begins with a quote from the play. Interesting plot and well written to deliver the maximum impact. I loved the twists and turns. For me, having never read Hamlet completely, it was nice surprises and reveals. I loved that the "bad guys" were rarely one dimensional. Even members of KKK had a logical reason (from their standpoint) to hate differences. They were just trying to re establish order and obedience to the law again. After all it was illegal for a black man to marry a white woman, so they just wanted the law breakers out of their town. I loved the mystery that immediately was dived into from the first chapter of who really killed her father. With just a few flashbacks, you cared about him. A good author can do this, instead of having 10 chapters to set up the person so he becomes important.
Such a good book!!!

(I did skip from p132- 238 and didn't miss anything major though. So length wasn't the best, but honestly most people will stick with story)

multcolib_susannel Mar 14, 2016

When Hanalee talks to
the ghost of her dead father, she realizes she may be wrong about who killed him.

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