Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

An orphan, young Lady Catherine rises to become one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite maids of honor—until her romance with the dashing adventurer Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a fit of jealousy, the queen banishes Cate to the fledgling colony on Roanoke Island.

Sustained by the hope that Sir Walter will soon join her, Cate learns to face the unexpected hardships and dangers of the New World. Torn by conflict and mistrust, and with their numbers dwindling, the colonists are forced to rely on Manteo, a mysterious Croatoan Indian, for their survival. Manteo, who calls Cate his Moon Maiden . . .

But is Manteo truly a friend, or will he betray the English to their enemies? And Sir Walter in England—has he forgotten his beloved, or will he come to claim her? As the months pass without rescue, Cate turns her gaze from the past and considers the possibility of a new love. Then one day a ship arrives—and Cate must make an agonizing choice . . .

  • Number of pages: 321


Lisa Klein weaved an absolutely sensational historical fiction out of an event that I didn’t even know about until I read this book! Cate of the Lost Colony was adventurous, mysterious, and the history part of this story was completely amazing.

Cate is in the beginning “Lady Catherine” which is in turn changed to “Lady Cat” or “Cat” as is referred to by the Queen herself. That is when in the beginning Lady Cat is one of the many maids to Queen Elizabeth. It’s her duty to help the Queen dress (a difficult task, no less) and help her with anything that may need helping. To her this is a great honor to serve her queen. Here in America with no kings or queens to look to in that way I can’t imagine why she would have such devotion and such love to a woman who at times treated her a little bad. It’s evident in the beginning part of the book how much devotion she puts into her work for the queen only being rewarded with a nickname that would soon get her into jealous trouble with the other lady maids. I guess that is just how it was. I remember thinking through those pages that I guess our heroine was just going to be a meek girl with not much will to call her own. But wow was I wrong. She turns a complete 180 after her romance with Sir Walter is discovered and is forced to travel to the New World, a place where savages rule and the conditions are harsh. Thus becoming the Cate that I know everyone loves her to be. She relishes the opportunity to travel to the new world, but after a while of seeing the type of condition she is to live in you see a spark in her ignite to take some charge and speak out, even as a woman in a time where men rule, to help her fellow colonist survive while deciding whether to keep hope in the thought of rescue from Sir Walter, or accepting the future and the possible love that comes with it.

At first I thought the story of Cate was hard to follow because at what seemed at random times the voice of Cate would be replaced by what I would call Sir William’s “diary” or “journal” to the point of view of Manteo in some instances, but (and I’m still not sure how Klein did it) it all seemed to make sense after a little bit of concentration. You would think that a book in the time of Queen Elizabeth would be a hard read, what with all the old time slang that must be in this book, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I actually liked the challenge of it! Especially when poetry by Sir Walter would be mixed in, it gave it an old time feel to it that made it special. I was in fact quite charmed by this book as my review probably already told you. So from 1-10? I am happy to give Cate of the Lost Colony an 8!!!

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