The Shinnery


The Shinnery

A Novel

Kate Anger

268 pages
1 map


September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Campbell thrives on the Shinnery, her family’s homestead in 1890s Texas, bordered by acres of shin oaks on the rolling plains. Without explanation her father sends her away to settle a family debt. A better judge of cattle than of men, Jessa becomes entangled with a bad one. Everything unravels after she puts her trust in Will Keyes. When Jessa returns home to the Shinnery, pregnant and alone, her father goes on a mission of frontier justice, with devastating consequences. In the aftermath Jessa fights for her claim to the family farm and for a life of independence for herself and her sisters. A story of coming-of-age, betrayal, and revenge, The Shinnery is inspired by the author’s family history and a trial that shook the region.

Author Bio

Kate Anger is a playwright and a lecturer at the University of California–Riverside.


"Anger expertly combines fact and fiction to create a riveting narrative richly enhanced by questions of morality, justice, and revenge. Historical fiction fans will be delighted."—Publishers Weekly

“Kate Anger’s gripping, timely novel drew me in from the first page and held me captive until the last. This powerful, courageous Texas frontier story about lost innocence, brutal betrayal, revenge, and redemption is beautifully told with nuanced sensitivity and compassion. The Shinnery is historical fiction at its best.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Glovemaker

“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

Table of Contents


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