The Steep and Thorny Way
Fans of Dreamland Burning will enjoy this Hamlet retelling. Hanalee Denney faces hatred and discrimination as a mixed-race young woman in 1920s Oregon. Her father, Hank, died in a drunk-driving accident last year, and now his killer is out of jail, claiming that Hank was actually poisoned by the town doctor--the doctor who happened to swoop in and marry Hanalee’s mother. Hanalee wants answers, and in order to get them she consults a wandering “haint,” her father’s ghost.
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, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now the killer is out of jail and back in town, and he’s claiming that Hanalee’s father’s death wasn’t an accident at all. Instead, he says that Hank was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who just so happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.
In order to get the answers she needs, Hanalee will have to ask a “haint” wandering the roads at
night—her father himself.