KATE RYDER by Hester Burton


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A yeoman's daughter (""and don't you forget it""), Kate Ryder is only eight or so when her father goes off to fight for parliament, twelve in 1646 when this begins and her happy neighborhood group is breaking up (brother Ralph off to sea; older brother Adam marrying her friend Tamsin, a dowryless Royalist; sister Priscilla ready for a husband) and she's fifteen in the end when father returns. Adam has been killed fighting for the King, and Kate, having endured tear and hunger and siege at the hands of whatever army is up, has turned ""almost pretty"" and now waits for her father to find her a man just like himself and her brothers ""and not more than a day's ride from you all."" Despite her early love of books, boyish dreams of travel and indifference to coiffure, Kate functions here mostly as a sufferer at the hands of history. And as everyone involved is marked by some combination of nobility, gentleness, understanding and warmth (with father and son respecting and regretting each other's political choices), all that spilled blood in the background is just a little too thin to sustain life.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1975
Page count: 178pp
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell