Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

As a reader, I’m always inclined to head towards the science fiction books, so much so that that I am continually surprised by how much I like historical fiction. I really enjoyed Cate of the Lost Colony and read it pretty much straight through. That’s not to say I didn’t have some issues with it, but I thought the story and the writing was compelling enough that I forgave them.

The story begins with Cate as a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth, (who is portrayed as a rather overbearing and vain queen). Cate runs afoul of her and is sent as punishment to the colony on Roanoke Island in Virginia in 1587.

The thing to remember is that Cate isn’t an actual historical figure (the author note informs us of this), it doesn’t really matter, but I was sad that the whole set up of why Cate was sent to Virginia was completely fictional. I guess that gives the author the ability to create a character and infuse her with all the characteristics that she needs to have the story flow, but even so I was disappointed. There is a love affair that I would have relished more if it had been real (although her love interest was sort of a self-absorbed ass) and Cate is just such an interesting character that it bummed me out that she never actually existed. I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with a female colonist that learned the language of the locals?!

Klein also invents a happy ending for the colonists (as happy as an ending can be for the survivors of starvation, attacks, sickness, general despair, etc). As their true ending is one of the great mysteries of colonial America I thought that speculating on the part of the author was fine. I even enjoyed the turn their life took and found much of it to be quite believable.

On a whole (and added to last year’s awesome Written in Bone) I’m sort of frothing at the mouth to read more about colonial America.

Book Source = Review Copy

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