Writer. Formerly worked as book editor.
YOUNG ADULT NOVELS
Saving Grace, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.
More Than Friends: A Saving Grace Novel, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.
"CAPE LIGHT’ NOVELS; WITH THOMAS KINKADE
Cape Light, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Home Song, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2002.
A Gathering Place, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2003.
A Christmas Promise, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2004.
A New Leaf, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Christmas Angel, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.
A Christmas to Remember, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2006.
A Christmas Visitor, Berkley (New York, NY), 2007.
Katherine Spencer is the author of novels published under her own name, and has also published several novels written with Thomas Kinkade. Kinkade is best known as the ‘Painter of Light,’ so called because he usually depicts idyllic scenes bathed in a luminous glow. The novels Spencer has written with Kinkade have an atmosphere similar to the artist's paintings; they focus on a picturesque, idyllic New England town where the inhabitants face life's problems armed with faith in God. Kinkade and Spencer's first collaboration, titled simply Cape Light, introduced the cast of characters. The main plot concerns Jessica, a Boston banker who has returned to Cape Light to take care of her ailing mother. Jessica enjoys her sophisticated life in the city, but she finds herself drawn to Sam, the town handyman. She then faces the dilemma of deciding whether a simpler life at Cape Light could satisfy her, or if she should return to Boston. Jessica's sister Emily is the mayor of Cape Light, and her portion of the story includes an election campaign and the return of the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty years previously. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described Cape Light as a ‘sugarcoated modern fairy tale."
In the sequel, Home Song, Jessica has made her choice and become engaged to Sam, but the decision meets with disapproval from Jessica's domineering mother, Lillian; she refuses even to attend the wedding, feeling that Sam is not worthy of her daughter. Emily's election challenges continue in this sequel, and Emily's daughter continues to keep her mother's secret. Reviewing Home Song, a Publishers Weekly writer found that the authors handle the story line in a somewhat ‘simplistic’ style that includes a great deal of ‘Protestant proselytizing,’ but also stated that the characters are ‘pleasant,’ and that the book will be likely to please those who enjoyed Cape Light. Reviewing a later book in the series, A Christmas Promise, another Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that while the plot is somewhat predictable, the book's characters are ‘engaging and well-drawn.’ Speaking of the series in general, Jean Teller wrote in Grit: ‘Sentimental though they may be, the books are a delightful way to spend an afternoon, curled on the couch with a cup of tea at hand. Well-written and easy to follow, the stories take the reader out of the humdrum world and place her in a world of goodness and light, with a word or two about God and faith thrown in for good measure."
Spencer's book Saving Grace is targeted to a young adult audience, and it concerns the death of a boy, Matt, and the tragedy's effect on his family. Matt's mother loses herself in church work, and his father also withdraws from Grace, Matt's sister. Matt died while running an errand that had been Grace's responsibility, and his sister feels terrible guilt because of this. With little guidance from her parents, she seeks relief in alcohol, begins to fall behind in school, and seems to be in a downward spiral. Then a strange teenager named Philomena appears and begins to help Grace through her hardest moments. Eventually, Grace comes to understand that Philomena has been sent from Heaven to guide her. Grace's story continues in a sequel, More Than Friends: A Saving Grace Novel.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2002, Megan Kalan, review of Cape Light, p. 907; January 1, 2007, Holly Koelling, review of Saving Grace, p. 84.
Grit, December, 2004, Jean Teller, ‘World of Cape Light a Delight to Visit,’ p. 6.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of Saving Grace, p. 968.
Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of Cape Light, p. 41; October 7, 2002, review of Home Song, p. 53; October 4, 2004, review of A Christmas Promise, p. 71.
School Library Journal, October 2006, Suzanne Gordon, review of Saving Grace, p. 173.