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the shinnery: A Novel

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Inspired by an actual nineteenth-century honor killing in Stonewall County, Texas, The Shinnery, an engagingly written novel, traces a young woman's betrayal by family and employers, and her path toward revenge and redemption.

praise for

"Gorgeous and richly-told, The Shinnery is a patient, unsparing account of one young 19th-century Texas woman's difficult coming-of-age. The derailments and reclamations that ensue are inspiration for readers seeking their independence today." —Cristina Garcia, author of Here in Berlin


The Shinnery is a tense (at times), realistic image of family resilience, written with an understanding that while technology changes, people do not. The characters come to life in moving dialogue, and the whole book is as genuine as a Texas sunset.”—Nancy Turner, author of Light Changes Everything

“It’s a remarkable feat to take a true family history and craft it—with imagination, lyrical narrative voices, and deeply felt characters—into a novel that makes clear the precarious danger of life in early Texas. Kate Anger’s The Shinnery is a vivid, evocative book of a young woman whose life presages so much of what we value now: bravery, loyalty, and fierce determination for her own survival.”—Susan Straight, author of In the Country of Women

“With its emphasis on family and place, The Shinnery evokes a more grown-up version of the Little House on the Prairie books or a Western version of Little Women, but it’s also very much its own fresh and moving creation. Kate Anger has given us unforgettable characters in these pages, high stakes, and such lively, beautiful, deeply observant writing, it often took my breath away. The Shinnery is a shimmering triumph.”—Gayle Brandeis, author of Many Restless Concerns

 “Jessa Campbell loves everything about the beautiful hardscrabble Texas ranch where she’s been raised, and she’s so much a creation of that landscape that when she’s forced to leave to earn money from a couple in town, she is unmoored, entirely out of her element. Jessa is an innocent abroad, and her dizzying tumble from that innocence is brutally, beautifully realistic. The Shinnery is a superbly rendered story of love and shame and the will to survive.”—Jamie Harrison, author of The Center of Everything

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