I first discovered Mrs. Mike: The Story of Katherine Mary Flannigan when I was in middle school. Actually for the years I was there, I was the only one who checked this book out. I read it over and over and over again.
My mom gave me this copy, I think she found it at an antique store, published in 1947. I actually think this was a first edition, though missing a dust cover.
I connected with Kathy right away, she was spirited and bold in ways that I dreamed of being. But it was Sergeant Mike Flannigan that held my heart (still does, though it is – honestly – shared with Edward Rochester, Gilbert Markham, and Gilbert Blythe). His sense of humor. His honor. And in Kathy’s words, “he was very good-looking” with eyes “so blue you could swim in them.”
Mrs. Mike is a classic love story that has all the elements of a great novel. The Freedman’s take the reader all the way back to the turn of the century. I smell the grime of Boston, that Kathy left behind. I feel the freedom and dangers of the vast wilderness that she explores with her uncle first, and then her new husband, struggling to adapt and thrive in the face of prejudice, wild animals, and rampant diseases.
Icing on the cake? It’s based on a true story. Ish. Even if the Freedman’s bent all of the facts to make their book more exciting, it reads like truth. And it’s definitely an adventure!