Monday, May 02, 2005

'Catching Katie' etc.

I’ve just finished reading my first Robin Lee Hatcher historical romance, Catching Katie. What an enjoyable journey to another time it was!

We first meet main character Katherine Jones, Vassar graduate and suffragette as she nears home (the Jones ranch just outside Homestead in Idaho’s Long Bow Valley) on her drive from Washington D.C. in her own Model-T. She’s been away from home for years. But now she is returning, determined to further the cause of women getting the vote nationally in the upcoming election.

Her spunkiness comes through immediately as she wrestles with her cantankerous car, and then drops by the Homestead Herald office to say an uninhibited hello to her best childhood friend, Herald editor Ben Rafferty.

Ben, handsome and steady, realizes almost immediately he wants Katie to be more than a friend.

Also clear from the outset is Katie’s idealism and her resolve to fulfill what she sees as her life’s destiny – working to elevate the position of women in America – a dream nurtured by her Washington suffragette friends. Her personal ambition and lukewarmness toward the thought of marriage provide some of the major tensions in the book. Ben and Katie’s relationship, with its tugs and pulls, figures throughout as centrally as if it were another character.

Besides the fun of the romance and the excitement of riding along with the youthful and idealistic Katie and entourage in their fight for the cause, this book is also a worthwhile read because it speaks to issues we still grapple with today. Through her characters’ lives, Robin Hatcher puts forth a biblical perspective on things like what can be the role of women in public life, how can women balance parenting with public service, and work toward fulfilling personal dreams while staying married.

"Likable characters and a feisty romance make this a delightful, intelligent historical romance,"

declares the Library Journal, in their article, "Best Books 2004" which names Catching Katie (along with four others) as the best in the 2004 Christian Fiction category. Way to go, Robin!

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Also due out in May is Hearts in Harmony, by my friend Gail Sattler (Maple Ridge B.C.). It’s the first in her mini-series "Men of Praise" (Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired line).

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Now if you want fiction delivered via browser, mouse and monitor, get hooked on the blog fiction A Standard Christian which is Grace Jovian’s (A.K.A. Jeri Massi) sequel to Secret Radio. (The story stands alone.)

- Will Grace sell another Persian rug?
- What’s behind store owner Mr. Simpson’s personal attentions?
- And will she ever escape from the shadow of her old alma mater GIBC (Greater Independent Baptist College) and its henchmen, Preacher Dirk Pole, Preacher Rush Pole, Preacher Rob Lavendar, Preacher Lee T. Stone, evangelists Al L. Mee and her own father George Jovian?

(Episodes are posted Monday to Friday – we’re waiting for Episode 10)

Hat Tip: Notes in the Key of Life

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