Plain Kate by Erin Bow
|March 23, 2012||Posted by Kris McNaughton under Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult|
Plain Kate by Erin Bow is anything but plain. The book is full of mystery, magic, and wonder. The supernatural is woven throughout the story, but it also contains the real life experiences of friendship, personal growth, and loss.
When the reader is introduced to Kate, she is the talented and beloved daughter of the community woodcarver. However, when Kate loses her father, she embarks on a journey to find acceptance and love from her fellow man. Although the story Bow tells is obviously fictional, there are subtle ties to actual historical references. For instance, an unexplained plague kills thousands with no known rhythm or reason. The people Kate travels with form a fringe society, wandering from town to town in covered wagons. I always find it fascinating when an author incorporates a hint of history into fiction, as I think it helps the reader to quickly enter the book’s reality and learn something at the same time.
Throughout Kate’s travels, she gains independence and comes to realize that ultimately her choices in life must allow her to follow her own values to achieve happiness in life. The bitter sweet ending of Erin Bow’s book will keep the reader wondering what the future has in store for the “anything, but plain” Kate.
Plain Kate is a delight to read and will be quickly devoured by any young reader; it is a book worth reading and sharing.