Shakespeare meets the Amish in this surprising and moving story of shrewish Cate Miller and her beautiful younger sister Betsy. Their kind and gentle Dat has settled on a way to encourage Cate to consider marriage and be happy: To both sisters’ dismay, Betsy cannot court or marry until her older sister does.
When Pete Treger comes to town to find a wife and a job, he is intrigued by Cate and materially encouraged by Betsy and her swains. Deeply shamed when she finds out about the ‘encouragement,’ Cate puts an end to Pete’s plans.
But then Betsy makes a horrifying discovery and Cate needs to decide whether she will sacrifice all to save her sister and her father.
Your heart will weep for Cate as she deals with the consequences of her actions and you, too, will despise self-centered Betsy by the end of the story. But you will love both Dat and Pete, and will admire Cate as she becomes herself.
This gripping novel has haunted my thoughts since I read it, and no wonder. The characters are true to life, the conflict is intense and realistic, the emotions are gripping, and the questions it raises need to be pondered slowly.
I occasionally review fluffy novels and they can be pleasant too, but Courting Cate has a whole lot more substance in every way. It is not only far better than the typical sweet and predictable Amish story, but also more human and humane than The Taming of the Shrew. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel, think, and forget everything else.
In terms of homeschooling, if you’re studying Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Courting Cate could be a useful addition to the curriculum, leading to all sorts of discussions and adding an unusual dimension to the play. Note that I do not recommend The Taming of the Shrew for homeschool high school studies (other Shakespeare plays are more suitable for young Christians), but you may find yourself in that situation.
Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.