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Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Kushiel's Mercy
Jacqueline Carey
House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies
Henry Jacoby, William Irwin
Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie
S.J. Adams
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
Patrick Ness
Things I Can't Forget - Miranda Kenneally It's funny what personal perspective can do for you. I've read in several reviews that Kate was not a very popular main character. One mentioned hoping she would be stabbed before the last page, another said they wanted to "punch her in the face" for being so judgmental, and yet another found herself constantly rolling her eyes. This kind of shocked me, as I actually felt that some of the other characters were a bit hard on Kate.I suppose given my background as a former fundamentalist it's natural that Kate's story dredges up a lot of memories and fills me with an almost infinite compassion. I spent 10 years of my adult life in a church very much like "Forrest Sanctuary" (but actually stricter and even more insular). I have been through many things in my 39 years on this earth, but questioning my strict Christian faith, and leaving that worldview (which encompassed every aspect of my life), was the darkest, most painful, most heart-wrenching thing I've ever experienced.What those who dismissively call Kate "judgmental" and roll their eyes, fail to understand, is how difficult it is to question something that you've been told is true from your earliest memories. Kate wasn't trying to be judgmental, she was trying to be true to everything she had ever been taught to believe. Because ultimately, Kate was what I think of as a "True Believer", she wasn't a hypocrite, she was honestly trying to live according to her belief set.This book then is really about the cognitive dissonance that she experiences when different aspects of her faith start to contradict each other. i.e. the belief that one should love and support others and help them in their time of need warring with the belief that abortion is wrong and sinful and worthy of God's judgment/punishment So yes, it is accurate to say that Kate was often judgmental, i.e. that she judged people according to her particular set of values and beliefs (ones that she truly believed in). Because Kate had been taught and honestly believed that certain actions were right or wrong, she was understandably confused that people were taught the same things, didn't believe them (or at the least that their actions did not match their attitudes).And her expectations are definitely valid in light of the fact that she is being employed by a church camp and not a secular camp. (I don't think that Kate would have expected certain behaviors out of counselors that make no profession of her particular brand of Christianity).Ultimately I think that those who were not raised in particularly religious homes, or have never lived in the Bible belt, are going to have a hard time connecting with Kate, because the things that she discovers, while amazing revelations to her, will most likely seem obvious and easy to grasp.