Friday, June 7, 2024

Book Review for Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate

 Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate 

Published June 4, 2024 by Ballantine Books 

Genre:  Historical Fiction 



Taken from Goodreads:  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. 


My Thoughts:  Shelterwood is a dual timeline book.  The 1909 and the 1990 timelines are interesting and I love that they are based on true events.   


The 1990 timeline had my full attention every time I was reading it.  I love that Valerie was like a dog with a bone.    Once she saw that something was not right in the park, she would not let it go.    I like that Valerie is a mom, her relationship with Charlie is perfect.   Her love shines through and her protectiveness is fierce.  I felt like Valerie is a character that was relatable and likable.    

The 1909 timeline was a little more slow moving.   I struggled to get invested in that timeline.   The characters were children left on their own to find their way in the world.   I enjoyed that they found a “family” of children to work together.  It was interesting to see how they formed a level of command, a government of sorts, to keep their family intact and knowing which job was theirs to take care of.   


Shelterwood is a great book, the history is rich and the story is wonderful.  Lisa Wingate is an amazing author and I always look for her books.   


Thank you Ballantine Books for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  

Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads 

Purchase your own copy on Amazon  


Meet Lisa Wingate (taken from her website): Lisa Wingate is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Before We Were Yours, which remained on the bestseller list for over two years and has sold over 3 million copies. She has penned over thirty novels and coauthored a nonfiction book, Before and After with Judy Christie. Her award-winning works have been selected for state and community One Book reads throughout the country, have been published in over forty languages, and have appeared on bestseller lists worldwide. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa and six others as recipients of the National Civics Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” 

Lisa was inspired to become a writer by a first-grade teacher who said she expected to see Lisa’s name in a magazine one day. Lisa also entertained childhood dreams of being an Olympic gymnast and winning the National Finals Rodeo but was stalled by a mental block against backflips on the balance beam and by parents who stubbornly refused to finance a rodeo career. She was lucky enough to marry into a big family of Southern tall tale enthusiasts who never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Lisa writes her novels at home in Texas where she is part of the Wingate clan of storytellers. 


Of all the things she treasures about being a writer, she enjoys connecting with people, both real and imaginary, the most. More information about her novels can be found at 




No comments:

Post a Comment