No-Spoilers Book Preview
Here’s another excellent Young Adult (YA) novel I discovered at the local library. See my four reasons to read this book under “What’s Awesome,” below.
Odette always claimed their mother slayed monsters and that she and her sister, Trudchen, were destined for the same adventures. In 1909, after vanishing two years earlier, Od reappears in Tru’s life with a suitcase full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters about to attack.
Not all monsters have fangs and claws.
From inside the jacket cover
What nightmares lurk in dark shadows of oft-repeated tales?
Tru has struggled to walk ever since a childhood bout with polio. The author’s descriptions of living with a disability in the 1900s, and people’s attitudes toward the disabled, are realistic and educational. Various minor characters are sympathetic and accepting, or dismissive and even cruel.
(1) The obvious love and affection between the two sisters who have grown up under challenging circumstances with a distant, mysterious mother and a mostly absentee father. (2) A compelling mystery (or two, or three). (3) The historical accuracy of life and attitudes in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast in the early 1900s. (4) Seeing how intelligent women handle the challenges of living in a patriarchal era.
Opening Paragraphs (Prologue)
Once upon a time…
“Tell me the story again,” I urged my sister in the night-time blackness of our attic bedroom.
Odette rolled toward me on her side of the bed. The straw mattress crunched and shifted beneath her weight, and her brown eyes shone in the trace of moonlight straining through the shadows.
“Please,” I said with a hopeful squeak in my voice, which made me sound such a baby compared to her, an eight-year-old girl, almost nine.
“Oh, Tru.” My sister burrowed her right cheek against her pillow. “You know the story so well.”
“Tell me again. My leg hurts, and I really, really want to hear it.” …“Please, Od,” I begged. “Tell me about the day I was born…and Papa’s horse…and the tower.”
Cat Winters is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels The Steep and Thorny Way, The Cure for Dreaming, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which collected three starred reviews and was a William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist. A novel about Edgar Allan Poe’s teen years, The Raven’s Tale, is forthcoming in spring 2019.
She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine [fellow UCI alumna! Zot!] and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two kids. Winters was born and raised in Southern California, just a short drive down the freeway from Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands.
Follow Cat Winters online
Katherine Valdez lives and breathes YA literature and all things pop culture. Read Secrets of Best-Selling Authors at www.KatherineValdez.com. Type your email address in the Follow box and watch for the confirmation email to complete the process.