Saturday, February 2, 2013
Courting Cate by Leslie Gould - Review of the first book in The Courtships of Lancaster County series
Cate Miller has raised her sister Betsy since she was very young, after the death of their mother and grandmother.Through the years Cate has become known for her sharp tongue and fiery temper. After all she was picked on all through her school years by Seth Martin and his twin brothers Martin and Mervin, or as she calls them M & M. When Cate and Seth got older he convinced Cate that he liked her and she agreed to court him, even accepted his proposal of marriage. That is until she found out he only wanted to marry her for her father's money, a well to do man in their community. After that she seemed to be even more bitter and had no desire to date, marry or have a family, she was resigned to become an old maid and start her own business.
Betsy on the other hand, was well liked, had lots of friends and considered by everyone as very pretty. There were a lot of boys wanting to court her, and she went through many. Betsy finally finds one, Levi, from a neighboring community that she wants to marry. There is one problem though, their father wants Cate to find someone to love and marry so she can have a family of her own first.
When Cate's father puts an edict into effect that Betsy can't court if Cate doesn't, and Cate must marry before Betsy can. This causes a lot of problems for the two girls. Pete Tregor, from New York, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania and happens to be a cousin of Nan, the lady who brings the bookmobile to town and knows Cate well, you see Cate spends any spare second she has reading. Pete becomes friends with Cate, Betsy, Levi and M & M. Soon Cate finds herself being more attracted to Pete and goes on some outings with him. The attraction ends when she overhears M & M talking about paying Pete to date her, so now she realizes that Pete only likes her for her father's money also
Knowing Cate will do anything for her, Betsy tells her that she may be pregnant and needs to marry quickly. Cate will not only do anything for Betsy she will do anything to protect her family, even protect them from shame, so she talks to Pete and he agrees to marry her. They get married within two weeks. Pete was late getting to the ceremony and as soon as the service was over he tells her that they have to leave for his home in New York immediately, they couldn't even stay for the usual wedding supper, and as she's coming downstairs with her bag to leave she sees M & M hand Pete an envelope, his pay off.
After hitch hiking in the rain and getting soaked they arrive at his parents house, if you can call it that, in the middle of the night. They go to his old room and when she hears someone pounding on the door she finds Pete gone and hears her new mother-in-law, who she's never met, yelling at her to get up it's getting late. After she eats her breakfast she's instructed what her chores are to be for the day.
Cate goes from what is one of the best Amish homes there are with running water, an indoor bathroom and plenty of room to a home that is no more than a cabin with no indoor plumbing and being treated like a slave. She knows she can never divorce but when she finds out that Pete's brother is married to the woman Pete loved and is the reason he left, what will she do? Will Cate give up and go back to Pennsylvania by herself, how long can she live like this? Why isn't she hearing anything about Betsy's wedding and when it is, why does it seem everything is against her when all she tried to do her whole life is help her dad by raising Betsy and helping him in his business?
Leslie does a wonderful job of telling Cate's story, I found myself feeling her pain and wanting to tell some people off, especially Betsy, being the ungrateful person she is, after the edict is put in effect. You have to get this book so you can read everything that was done to Cate and how strong a person she is. Such a giving person, she deserves more than what she's getting and needs someone to stand up for her instead of against her, which is how she feels.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing me this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255