FROM THE PUBLISHER: When Amish farmer Pete Treger moves to Paradise Township, Pennsylvania, he meets Cate and Betsy Miller. Both are beautiful, but older sister Cate is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Betsy, on the other hand, is sweet and flirty,and seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
However, the sisters' father has made one rule: elder sister must marry first, before the younger can even start courting. Though he finds both sisters attractive, something about Cate's feisty demeanor appeals to him. Soon the other bachelors in the district convince Pete to court Cate. She hardly seems receptive to his overtures, though. Instead, she's immediately suspicious of his interest.
I guess I should preface my thoughts by letting you all know that Amish fiction is not my favourite genre. In fact, I rarely read it ( I read a token Cindy Woodsmall and Beverly Lewis just to ensure that I was ‘up’ on the Christian trend); so the drawing card for Courting Cate was the fact that the plot and characters were grounded in Taming of the Shrew. Indeed, those who have a penchant for the Shakespearian will have fun with its channeling of the age-old plot and matching the characters from the Shakespeare work to the modern day.
The problem? The adaptation fails somewhat when it comes to the character Cate. Katherina (Kate) Minola ( of the play) is a resolute and strong and prickly character---yes, misunderstood; but whip-smart and beguiling. While the eponymous Cate of this work is certainly strong and feisty for the Amish ilk; she doesn’t rise beyond being anything but mildly put-off and mildly intelligent. I really craved a sparkling, energetic and feisty heroine and, rather, found a heroine who is strong when held toward the metric of Amish Christian romance; but not very memorable beyond.
While I enjoyed learning of Pete Treger’s backstory and watching his persistence to win Cate’s favour, I found that a lot of chemistry was missing. A lot. Indeed, I would wait, with baited breath, for the next scene featuring the two so that fireworks would ignite and the breathless banter of Katherina and Petruchio of the Shakespeare version would erupt. Here, again, I was left somewhat disappointed.
This might sound like a harsh review; but there is a lot to commend Courting Cate: most of which is found in Leslie Gould’s winning style ( she is a great storyteller who infuses the world of Lancaster County so deftly you feel that you are living there ). Further, I applaud her taking a unique idea and making it manifest. It’s an original plot and character piece that, with a few tweaks and a bit more spark and flint, would have made for an enjoyable romance.
Make sure that you visit the Litfuse site to learn more about the author chat this evening where you can interact directly with Leslie Gould
Visit the Litfuse Landing site for Courting Cate
I'm glad you reviewed this -- because of the Shakespeare connection I've been wondering if I should give it a shot.
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