The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I didn't get all the supposed Hamlet references, but maybe that's because I was concentrating on the whole KKK issue, with a side-serving of gay bashing. The Author's Note says that this was originally two stories and I wasn't surprised: at times it did feel as though that was what had happened.
What I mean is, the story of Hanalee, a young mulatto girl, and her search to figure out what exactly happened to her father (killed in a car accident... or maybe not) while avoiding the increased racism and activism of the KKK in Oregon was compelling enough. Adding the gay bashing as another KKK "no no" didn't necessarily make the story of Joe any more compelling, as his involvement in the accident could already have made him a target.
My quibbles aside, teens may find this an interesting introduction to a non-Southern side of the KKK. Many may not realize how active and powerful (and public) they were in some other areas of the country - I hope that the finished copy provides some places for them to start learning more.
ARC provided by publisher.