Thursday, 4 July 2013

Plain Kate by Erin Bow





I've just finished reading this story, and to be quite honest i'm not sure what to write about it...there were parts i loved, others that dragged and then there were the ones that broke my heart.

So yes, i'll admit that the story surprised me. I was expecting something quite different...not so dark, hopeless and at times blood drenched...

This is the story of a girl  known as Plain Kate:

"A long time ago, in a market town by a looping river, there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate.
She was called this because her father had introduced her to the new butcher, saying: “This is my beloved Katerina Svetlana, after her mother who died birthing her and God rest her soul, but I call her just plain Kate.”
(..)
"Plain Kate’s father, Piotr, was a wood-carver. He gave Kate a carving knife before most children might be given a spoon. She could whittle before she could walk. When she was still a child, she could carve a rose that strangers would stop to smell, a dragonfly that a trout would rise to strike."

In a time when superstitions ruled, Plain Kate finds herself orphaned and without any place to go after her father's death. When to that, one adds the unwanted attention of a witch _a male witch _ who wants her soul, she finds herself fighting for her life, in a long journey fraught with dangers.

“What do you want?”
“Your shadow.” His own shadow fell across the table between them, and it seemed thin to Kate, swirling as if cast by smoke, not solid flesh. “If you give me your shadow, I’ll grant the secret wish of your heart.”

Let me just say this:
_This is more adult than most adult books i've read. To say that this proper for middle grade readers, well sure, if you want to give the kids nightmares....but i bet, that will be adult readers that will find parts of this story "hard to swallow". I know that when i finished it, i felt like crying...

But moving on... the things i liked:
_The author gives us amazing detailed sceneries. Its very atmospheric...one has the whole scenery of a dark tale, in which there are curses, magical beings, such as talking cats and Rusalkas. 

_ The TALKING CAT (yes, it gets to be spelled in capital letters, since it totally deserves it!), Taggle was amazing! I don't know if i would have finished this book had not been for his cat comments:

“That,” proclaimed the cat, squirming down into her lap, “was awful. The jouncing. The rearing! The mud. I have decided that we will not travel again by horse.” When she didn’t answer, he poked her with his damp nose, and rubbed her thumb with the corner of his mouth.
“Look, I’m still damp. Fuss over me.”

On the less positive side:
_ This story can be quite depressing..Plain Kate has to fight pretty much against all and everything. The small acts of kindness that she gets throughout her journey are so small, and at times come with high prices to pay. And this happens during all the book, so after a while i felt that nothing much was happening besides the girl suffering.
_Slow pace of the story;
_The atent to introduce a love story...look i like romance just like the next one. In fact, had this story a budding romance it would've helped digest all this sadness and......depression. But the guy, well *shakes head*....the story speaks for itself, doesn't it?

_ Then i  wanted Plain Kate to be more, you know?

But i guess, that's what the story is all about...
Growing up.
How life makes us more...giving us hardships and tears, but also fleeing joy.


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Plain Kate

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