27 June 2012
Katerina's Wish; Jeannie Mobley
Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This had such promise: a Czech immigrant family in the Colorado minefields, living in what is clearly a company town, struggles to survive the clash between their dreams of a better life in America and the reality of what they've found, intermixed with classic fairy/folk tales that highlight and illustrate their situation (which is, when you think about it, what fairy/folk tales were supposed to do!). Where this falls apart is the lack of realization about what their situation really is. If farming - even minor growing of a few vegetables and having a chicken or two - had been "approved" by the company, wouldn't more of the families have been doing it? While Trina may not have been that savvy, surely someone else (Old Jan? her mother? a neighbor?) would have said something.
Trina's relationship with Mark/Marek was also a little odd. It was completely realistic that she'd had a crush on him while in school, and that she'd still want to mull a future with him. It was also realistic that she'd have this dream of the farm and wanting to leave the mine town. But Mark/Marek's insistence that this was the only possible life for him was not realistic - he was so good as a woodworker, why didn't someone suggest that as a way to make money?
Copy provided by publisher.