Gardiner MT, just outside Yellowstone National Park, Winter, 1933 Three people — a 14-year-old orphan plus a winterkeeper and his socialite wife – each with the toughness and desire to survive whatever adversity fate throws in their path. But will that be enough to overcome a financial Depression in its third year with no sign of abating or the brutally cold wilderness that is Yellowstone in winter – or their search for the meaning of ‘family.’?
Plot: “The Winterkeeper” is an action-packed novel, starring a young girl desperate to escape her cruel stepfather and his ways. This book is an emotional page-turner, and Millie’s plight will keep readers hooked all the way to the end.
Prose/Style: Anna Schmidt’s prose is simple but effective. She captures the voices of each of her characters perfectly, and her descriptions of Yellowstone are well done, too.
Originality: Great Depression-era stories and the plight of orphans is a common subject in historical fiction, but the characters and setting of “The Winterkeeper” feel fresh and original, offering a new perspective on a very difficult time in American history.
Character Development: Overall, Millie comes across as a little immature for fourteen and her stepfather is a tad one-dimensional. Otherwise, the characters are all quite well written and feel realistic. Nate, Ginny, and Millie are especially likable and relatable.
~ Publishers Weekly – May 2019
The Winterkeeper by Anna Schmidt takes a look at the dangerous world children live in when the very people who should protect them turn against them. Anna Schmidt has written a suspenseful young adult novel that will lead you on an exciting, but intriguing ride. I absolutely loved this novel. I am a fan of YA and especially coming-of-age stories, and this book is not one I’ll forget any time soon. The writing style is conversational, the tone dramatic and the characters are not only relatable but also endearing – just the right combination for a young adult novel. There is nothing I didn’t enjoy in this touching novel with its strong sense of place and tough, yet endearing main character. A wonderfully good read and exceptionally well-edited too. Both adults and young adults who enjoy stories of nature and a darn good mystery will find The Winterkeeper a book that they cannot put down.
~ Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers’ Favorite – June 2019