Kate and Emma, Monica Dickens

Recommended by: Geranium Cat, sort of.  I was actually after The Angel in the Corner, but the library hadn’t got it.  They had a large collection of Charles Dickens books with spines that didn’t say the titles, which I spent lots of time sorting through, but the only Monica Dickens book they had was Kate and Emma.

It’s about a girl called Emma whose father is the judge in children’s court, and this girl Kate whom Emma sees in court one day when she’s a-visiting, and then they become best friends.  But Kate’s life is one of degradation and poverty, and it sucks her back in, and it’s very hard for her and Emma to stay friends because Emma’s all la-dee-dah off having affairs with married men (well, one), and Kate’s off having baby after baby because her idiot husband thinks condoms are silly.

This book was interesting but grim.  The first bits were so friendly and nice, and things were looking up for Kate – which pleased me because I have a surrogate little sister called Kate, of whom I am very fond – but then everything just got more and more sad, and in the end Kate for sure ties up her oldest boy and leaves him on the roof with no food and water, and they only just rescue him in time.

…I liked it better when Kate had a nice foster mother and she and Emma were BFF.  I had to keep taking breaks from the book after that because it was so depressing.  But it was still pretty good.  I will have to read more of Monica Dickens before making a definite decision about her.

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One thought on “Kate and Emma, Monica Dickens

  1. Aha! You *did* read this. Decidedly not the best Monica Dickens to start with; one of the bleaker ones. You do need to read some more to fully appreaciate this author.

    Might I suggest The Happy Prisoner, or even better, The Fancy? Those two stand out in my memory, though I like everything MD has written, with the exception of her later kids’ “horsey” books, which I thought were pretty lame.

    Or even the autobiographical first books, One Pair of Hands, One Pair of Feet, and My Turn to Make the Tea. Snarky & very very funny, with poignantly touching bits here & there.

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