Katrine: a waste of world and time

Katrine, according to its author, is the story a woman who threw a world away for love.

Unfortunately, Elinor Macartney Lane adds nothing to her preview.


Katrine by Elinor Macartney Lane

1909 bestseller # 2. Project Gutenberg E-book #14263. My grade: B-.


Frank Ravenel, home at Ravenel Plantation from his philandering, is attracted by his overseer’s pretty, young, tuneful daughter.

Dermott McDermott, a friend of Katrine and her father, is Frank’s competitor.

Frank realizes Katrine is too pure for dalliance, too socially inferior for marriage.

Katrine goes off to study vocal music in Paris.

Frank takes up business to occupy his time.

Unknown to Frank, his father had married a woman in Europe prior to meeting his mother. That woman was Dermott’s aunt and, he believes, is the rightful heir to the Ravenel estates.young girl crying alone in yard

The novel is syrupy and silly. Katrine, Frank, and Dermott are stick figures whose behavior is implausible from start to finish.

The defining story of Katrine’s life — the lesson she gleaned from the different reaction of a boy and girl to a painful experience — is buried:

Afterward the girl cried all the rest of the morning, but the boy went out and made a swing, and in a little while was quite happy.…

I don’t want to cry; I want to make swings.

Now that’s a story.

© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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