Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate

June 4th, 2024 Kimberly Review 7 Comments

4th Jun

Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate is a standalone historical fiction that takes place in 1909 & 1990 Oklahoma at what became Horsethief Trail National Park when Law Enforcement Ranger Valerie Boren O’dell arrived in 1990. A rich tale about wayward children, land shares and a national park mystery and missing person’s case. Come see what I enjoyed about Shelterwood.

Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate
by Lisa Wingate
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a sweeping novel inspired by the untold history of women pioneers who fought to protect children caught in the storm of land barons hungry for power and oil wealth.

Oklahoma, 1909. Eleven-year-old Olive Augusta Radley knows that her stepfather doesn’t have good intentions toward the two Choctaw girls boarded in their home as wards. When the older girl disappears, Ollie flees to the woods, taking six-year-old Nessa with her. Together they begin a perilous journey to the rugged Winding Stair Mountains, the notorious territory of outlaws, treasure hunters, and desperate men. Along the way, Ollie and Nessa form an unlikely band with others like themselves, struggling to stay one step ahead of those who seek to exploit them . . . or worse.

Oklahoma, 1990. Law Enforcement Ranger Valerie Boren O’dell arrives at Horsethief Trail National Park seeking a quiet place to balance a career and single parenthood. But no sooner has Valerie reported for duty than she’s faced with local controversy over the park’s opening, a teenage hiker gone missing from one of the trails, and the long-hidden burial site of three children deep in a cave. Val’s quest to uncover the truth wins an ally among the neighboring Choctaw Tribal Police but soon collides with old secrets and the tragic and deadly history of the land itself.

In this emotional and enveloping novel, Lisa Wingate traces the story of children abandoned by the law and the battle to see justice done. Amid times of deep conflict over who owns the land and its riches, Ollie and Val traverse the wild and beautiful terrain, each leaving behind one life in search of another.

historical mystery Small-town well written

I love how Lisa Wingate wove these two timelines and separate stories together. In 1990, single mother and law enforcement Ranger Valerie Boren O’dell is newly arrived at the National Park and trying to prove her worth, when a teenage boy goes missing and the old burial site of three children is discovered in a cave. Valerie will work with closely with the neighboring Choctaw Tribal Police chief to solve these puzzles and what she discovers ties in to the second story.

In 1909, Eleven-year-old Olive Augusta Radley slips away with a young Choctaw girl who is boarding with them, when her sister goes missing. Olive knows her father has ill intentions towards the girl. Traveling with her pony, she and six-year-old Nessa travel towards the rugged Winding Stair Mountain. Danger lurks, but along the way, they form friendships and fight to survive.

Wingate did a wonderful job sharing Oklahoma history, political figures and the children impacted over land claims. I love Olive and how courageous she was. I also feared she may be one of the young girls found in 1990. You’ll have to discover that for yourself.

I enjoyed both timelines from the missing teenage boy and his precocious little sister, to what they find in the mountains in 1990, to the woman speaker that women from miles around came to hear in 1909.

Shelterwood is the perfect beach read for those that enjoy mystery, history and adventure. I loved when the title clicked. A memorable read.

Amazon | Audible

About Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her blockbuster "Before We Were Yours" was on the NYT best seller list for over one year. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Lisa believes stories can change the world.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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7 Responses to “Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate”

    • Kimberly

      It is based in true historical context, some characters describe what happened in 1909. I found the subject matter fascinating and the blight of the children dreadful.