Our Kate, An Autobiography Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Our Kate, An Autobiography

Catherine Cookson, prolific novelist who died in 1998 at the age of 92 wrote this autobiography in 1968. The "Our Kate" of the title is her mother. Cookson found out when she was 6 that her mother wasn't her sister as she been brought up to believe, and that she was illegitimate. She describes the hardships of her childhood growing up in extreme poverty in the industrial northeast of England. The harsh judgement of her family and community for having a child out of wedlock leads Cookson's mother to find solace in alcohol. Cookson describes the fear and loathing she felt about her mother's addiction. Intelligent and sensitive, Cookson works hard as a maid and in a laundry to make a decent life for herself. At the same time she strives for an education through reading. She describes her emotional breakdown in her forties, and how that led her to writing. This along with the support of her husband, helped her find peace with her past and her mother.
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The review of this Book prepared by Susan Coffey

Chapter Analysis of Our Kate, An Autobiography

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Plot & Themes

Family, love    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   mother Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York) Century:    -   1900-1920's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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Catherine Cookson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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