Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Benedict Bastard- Cate Campbell

The Benedict Bastard
Cate Campbell
Kensington, Aug 26 2014, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758292308

In 1923 Seattle, Dr. Margot Benedict continues to practice medicine at the Women and Infants Clinic.  Driven by Mr. Blake and accompanied by Nurse Sarah Church, Margot arrives at The Ryther Home to inspect the place before applying for government funds to assist the children’s home.  After being nasty towards Margot’s two Negro companions, Mother Ryther objects to the doctor’s insistence that she allow her and Nurse Church to vaccinate the orphaned or abandoned kids residing there.  When Margot meets the young charges, she is taken aback by a little boy who could have been her demented brother Preston’s twin (see Benedict Hall).

Stunned Margot seeks the truth while at the same time Bronwyn Morgan searches the city for her lost three years old son sired by Preston when she was sixteen.  As Margot seeks proof that she has an illegitimate nephew whom she hopes to take to Benedict Hall; she and her Pater visit psychopath Preston at the asylum where he is held in a drugged state; and family matriarch Edith brings Bronwyn into the home.

The third Benedict Hall historical family drama (see Hall of Secret) is an enjoyable glimpse at bygone era in which a changing America still feels the impact of WWI.  Now married to Frank, Margot keeps the interesting storyline focused as her inclusive beliefs remain decades ahead of her time.  Charlie’s paternity issue enhances Cate Campbell's entertaining glimpse of the Roaring Twenties in the Pacific Northwest.

Harriet Klausner

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