CONVERTING KATE by Beckie Weinheimer


Age Range: 12 & up
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After her estranged father’s death, Kate, 15, moves to Maine with her mother, a member of a small, ingrown Christian sect. Increasingly skeptical of her mother’s pious certainties, Kate takes hesitant steps beyond her cloistered world and, lovingly supported by the aunt who has taken them in, begins to build a life for herself. She baits lobster traps and flirts with handsome Will, joins the school cross-country team and turns to the sympathetic pastor of a mainstream church for guidance. As she absorbs painful lessons about love and friendship, Kate discovers that other belief systems can have moral codes as harsh and inflexible as the one she’s been raised with. Struggling to free herself teaches Kate to value life in its beautiful mystery, including the discordant beliefs and passions it inspires and the flawed, contradictory human beings that espouse them. Richly multilayered characters, portrayed with empathy, make this debut novel a strong addition to a growing body of works about adolescents seeking to reconcile the cohesive faith of childhood with the fractured religious diversity of the adult world. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-670-06152-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007


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