Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book review: Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein (Published by Bloomsbury, October 12, 2010)

When her father dies while fighting in the Netherlands in 1583, fourteen-year-old Catherine Archer is left orphaned and penniless. Her fortunes change, however, when in recognition of the fact that Cate’s father died in her service, Queen Elizabeth invites her to come live at court and serve as one of her maids of honor. Cate finds life at court to be rather complicated as no one there is truly free, but rather subject to the will of the Queen. That becomes all too clear when Cate’s secret romance with Sir Walter Ralegh, a handsome young courtier who is a favorite of the Queen’s, is discovered. The furious and jealous Queen sentences Cate to banishment in the new world of Virginia, while Ralegh, who hoped to govern the colony, is forced to remain behind and serve the Queen in England.

As she sets out on the sea voyage with the other Roanoke colonists, Cate is filled with many conflicting feelings. After hearing Ralegh’s tales of the wild and unsettled land of Virginia, and meeting the young Indian Manteo, brought back to England by a previous expedition, Cate had longed to travel to the new world and see it for herself. But she never expected so much hardship. The colonists are abandoned on Roanoke Island, and their governor must return to England to try and bring back supplies. The first years in the colony are filled with starvation, disease, and death. Seemingly abandoned by England, the colonists are on their own and must find a way to survive. Feeling abandoned by Walter Ralegh and now believing that he never truly loved her, Cate must set aside her memories of him, and her old life in England, so that she may survive and build a new life in this new world, perhaps even finding a new love along the way.

I have always been fascinated by the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, so having enjoyed Lisa Klein’s previous books, I was very excited when I first learned about this book. I am happy to say it did not disappoint at all and is in fact one of my favorite books so far this year. Through Cate’s story, which is filled with adventure and romance, the worlds of Elizabethan England and Roanoke Island in 1587 are brought to life, and the story ends with a plausible theory of what might have become of the lost colonists. I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys historical fiction or who read and enjoyed the author’s previous novels.

13 comments:

Christina T said...

I enjoyed this book as well and now I plan to read her other historical fiction books too. It was obvious that she put a lot of thought and research into her writing. Have you read Roanoke: The Lost Colony by Angela Elwell Hunt? It was published in the 90s and it is Christian historical fiction but I really enjoyed it as well and you might like it.

wanda f said...

Growing up in NC I couldnt help but be fascinated by the Lost Colony also being part native american there are old stories and rumors passed down .I cant wait to read this book

Stephanie :) (Books Are A Girl's Best Friend) said...

Thanks for the great ARC review, did you have to put in a request for it? I can't wait to read it (as historical fiction is my favourite genre and I espeicaly like the Tudors and New World themed books) and review it on my blog.

Happy reading!

Kailia Sage said...

This sounds like a great book and the topic is very interesting also! Great review!

Tina said...

I'm so glad to read such a glowing review about this book! I actually just learned about it recently but I've been dying to read it since. And it's received nothing but praise from around the blogosphere :)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that this book is one of your favorites for this year, that means that I really want to read it!!!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

brendajean said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read this for a while now and will definitely pick it up:)

bchild5@aol.com

RivkaBelle said...

This fascinates me -- as a North Carolinian and a former History major, this book looks sooooo good to me! Def gonna have to get my hands on it!

quarterback.girl[at]gmail[dot]com

Kristan said...

I absolutely love historical fiction and this books sounds like it'll be an amazing read. I enjoyed your review and its made me want to pick this book up even more.

Shannon said...

I have never read about Roanoke before. It sounds like a very interesting read.

tiredwkids at live dot com

Teddy Rose said...

Wow, this sounds like an amazing journey. Thanks for introducing me to this book.

Stephanie said...

I just discovered your site today--you've got great taste in books. Awesome review! I have really been neglecting historical fiction lately for fantasy. This review makes me really want to get back into the historical saddle! I've never read anything by Lisa Klein (but I own Ophelia--thinking that's going to be my next read!). Her books all look beautiful. Can't wait to read this one!

Ceska said...

At its best when in the Colony
The book starts off strong and then slogs to Daniel Steel-esque melodrama in the middle complete with wayward, mentally unbalanced, children and a roaming, weak, husband. Thus, I really didn't care for half of the book and almost gave up reading it halfway through.

 
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