Author(s): Elizabeth Crook
The dangerous and poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who boldly traverses the Texas frontier as she seeks to avenge her mother's death.Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, a former slave, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half-brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatised, her face horribly scarred.Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plain-spoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's relentless determination to stalk and kill the notorious panther and avenge her mother's death. In this quest, she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but unstoppable tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with a score to settle.In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking tale of revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin's storytelling, it is also a timeless story full of warmth and humour, and a testament to the enduring love between a sister and brother in an adventure whose legend will last a lifetime.
Elizabeth Crook has published four previous novels, including The Night Journal and Monday, Monday, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014. She has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters and the board of the Texas Book Festival. She lives in Austin with her family.