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Shelterwood    by Lisa Wingate order for
by Lisa Wingate
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2024 (2024)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

A dual timeline novel based on historical fact, Shelterwood takes place in Oklahoma's Native American land. Ollie, who lived in the early 20th century, is a precocious girl set on saving her sisters from their predatory stepfather. In today's world Valerie is a forest ranger specializing in law enforcement, who not only has to see that the law is upheld but also has to fight the prejudice against females holding that position.

Lisa Wingate has been thorough in her research (note: be sure to read the Author's Note and the Acknowledgments), and we are treated to the sights and sounds of both time periods. But I must say that reading about how young Native American children were preyed upon for the land they would inherit is truly chilling. Ollie and her crew try to save themselves from capture by learning to hunt and fish, while at the same time figuring out where to sleep. People in their area knew about them and called them elves because they were so skinny.

Valerie is new to her position, and being widowed, she must tread carefully since she is the sole support for her son Charlie. But she has a yen for the truth and feels she must follow all leads, even when discouraged by her superiors and colleagues. The result is a layered mystery in a fast-moving story that is quite exciting.

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