Lauren Winder Farnsworth’s “Keeping Kate” is another of our January fiction releases that’s set to release on Jan. 13. This is Farnsworth’s debut novel and is a reimagining of a literary classic. You can pre-order it right now from online retailers.
About the book: Orphan Kate Evans is determined to make a life for herself on a Utah ranch, taking care of a little girl named Addie. But when she meets her irritable employer, Kate is forced to confront the past she’s been running from—and face a future she never dreamed possible. This latter-day twist on the classic “Jane Eyre” is a romantic and gripping read.
From the author: Orphan Kate Evans has just arrived at Thorne Field Ranch, where she is to be the primary caregiver of a young girl named Addie. Kate is astonished at the level of wealth and consequence surrounding her and is concerned to find, upon their first meeting, that Addie has been raised to be materialistic and demanding. With her own history of abuse and neglect, she worries about connecting with her new charge.
“So, do you like to read?” I asked Addie, praying for something I could relate to. I had no memory of ever actually owning a doll. By the time I was Addie’s age, I was already an inmate of Whitman Purgatory.
She wrinkled her nose at the question. “Read?” she asked. “Read what?”
“Anything, really,” I answered. “Stories, poems . . .” She looked unenthusiastically up at me.
“Reading’s boring,” she said, turning to pull out some new toy to show me.
“Well, we’re going to be doing a lot of it now that I’m here, so I hope I’ll be able to change your mind,” I said.
She turned to look at me with an expression of horror twisting her little features. I squatted down to be level with her.
“Addie, did you know that I’ve actually met a princess?”
Addie looked appropriately impressed. “A princess?” she repeated in delight.
“Yep,” I answered. “And a pirate too. I’ve also been to Mars. And to the bottom of the sea to swim with mermaids.”
By this time Addie was looking skeptical. “How?” she asked simply.
“In books I’ve read. Reading takes you to places you’d never be able to go in real life,” I explained, praying I could make this child enthusiastic about expanding her horizons beyond blonde, anatomically incorrect, plastic people.
“I can go anywhere,” she answered matter-of-factly. “Tyler will buy me whatever I want.”
Hmm. Not exactly the response I had expected. I may need to have a conversation with the elusive Mr. Thorne. The first order of business with this child was some serious toy deprivation.
It wasn’t lost on me that Addie referred to her father by his first name. This didn’t surprise me as much as it probably should have. If she saw him as infrequently as I had been told, and everyone around her referred to him as “Tyler” or “Mr. Thorne,” Addie would undoubtedly refer to him in the same way.
He doesn’t even seem deserving of the title “Father,” anyway, I thought a little cynically.