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Becoming Kate    by Dixie Owens order for
Becoming Kate
by Dixie Owens
Order:  USA  Can
Bonneville, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Becoming Kate is the brilliant new, debut novel, that will leave you thinking, what if this happened to me? What would I do if my safe world collapsed around me and my choices were not what I truly wanted?

Twenty-nine year old Liz Lindsay is wife to Bruce, and mother to Mark and Megan. She adores her family and would do anything for them. Liz leaves home for a short trip to a local store and is hit by a transport truck. Immediately after the crash, Liz sees her mother, but is confused as her mother had passed away years before. She also sees a bright light and is drawn to the warmth and comfort it radiates.

Liz slowly wakes up, feeling disoriented and in pain. She is in a hospital bed, attached to many machines, and as she looks at herself, she sees the tiny body of a young girl. Overhearing the doctors discussing her case, she learns that her name is Kate, and that at eleven years of age she is the first ever brain transplant recipient. The problem is that Liz still has her memory, which was not erased, and she wants her family who are now grieving her death.

Liz struggles to work hard and becomes friends with Marcy her physical therapist. No one knows that Liz/Kate has Liz's memory and she fears that if she tells the doctors Liz will be gone forever. Kate's parents are loving and supportive and are so happy that their child is on the road to recovery. She eventually confides in Marcy and begs for her help. Liz tells Marcy about her family, her life, and where she lived. She wants to go back to them, so comes up with a scheme for Marcy to observe her family and let her know how they are doing. The more information Marcy gives Liz/Kate, the more she wants to know.

Added to the stress is Dr. Jamison, who performed the transplant. He is enjoying the media coverage and plans on keeping Liz/Kate in the hospital as long as possible. As one plan unfolds after another, Liz/Kate must decide to accept her life as Kate and live it to the fullest, or reveal the truth and lose Liz forever. Becoming Kate will pull you in from the beginning, and as you follow Liz/Kate on her journey you will be amazed at the transformation that takes place.

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