Book Review: Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

After reading Ophelia, I was eager to read another of Lisa Klein’s novels. I was not disappointed by Cate of the Lost Colony! This was another great read.

Catherine Archer is the orphaned daughter of a high-ranking soldier when Queen Elizabeth grants her the rare honor of becoming a lady-in-waiting. But court life – with all of its scandals, forbidden romances, and gossip – does not bode well for Catherine when she becomes romantically involved with the charming Sir Walter Ralegh. As Ralegh is one of Queen Elizabeth’s “favorites,” the jealous Queen banishes Catherine to the wilderness of Roanoke in retaliation.

Interestingly, this book is narrated not just by Catherine, but also by the two prominent male characters in the story: the ambitious (and fairly shallow) Sir Walter Ralegh, via his journals, letters, and various papers; and Manteo, a Native American man who aids the Roanoke colonists as an ambassador. When Cate arrives in the New World, the story is no longer about queens and castles and ladies-in-waiting, but becomes a sobering tale of poverty, war, death, and survival in the wilderness. What drives the story are Cate’s emotions, her willful, outspoken spirit, and her refusal to be ruled by any man. I really enjoyed this novel!

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