Catherine Cookson novels are set in the northeast of England, past and present. This, her autobiography, makes plain how it is she knows her background and her characters so well. The Kate of the title is Catherine Cookson’s mother. “Our Kate” is a novel about living with hardship and poverty. The story is told from the point of view of a very sensitive child and then the mature woman, whose zest for life and sense of humor made Catherine Cookson a warm, engaging writer.