The world is imperfect. This cannot be changed. Everyday, we face problems like discrimination and corrupt governments. In Born Wicked, author Jessica Spotswood set up a world that was brimming with all those problems. This story, set back in the late 1800s, is a provoking novel that illustrates real world problems and faces them.
The protagonist, Cate Cahill, struggles to survive in a world filled with gender discrimination, poverty, and corrupt governments. She has also been burdened with the task of caring for her younger sisters, Tess and Maura, after her mom died. On top of that, Cate has to keep a dark secret. All of the siblings are witches, capable of committing evils easily, without a second thought. If the current government, the gender-discriminating Brothers find out, the siblings will be in terrible peril. The following December, Cate will have to choose between marrying, or joining the Sisterhood, a group of devout ladies who assist the poor. During the time before her decision, Cate starts becoming rebellious, dates the gardener Finn Belastra, and starts uncovering secrets that were better off hidden.
Every kid in the world struggles to accept who they are. We all wear our strengths proudly and stow our weaknesses in the depths of our heart. When our weaknesses are exposed to the world, we feel afraid, alone. This story portrays a girl who accepts her weaknesses and faces them. She tries her best to do everything she can: support her sisters, help her family, and silently defies the government by disagreeing with their views. At the climax, Cate mentally breaks down from the weight of it all. Instead of becoming depressed, Cate chooses to accept the fact that she is imperfect, that she can always improve. There is a theory that bravery is being the only one who knows that you’re afraid. I disagree with that. I think bravery is showing that you can be afraid, that you have your weaknesses too.
Born Wicked also taught me the power of sisterly love and rivalry. Throughout the book, Cate has her share of quarrels between her siblings, endless jealousy that makes them drift apart. But in the end, they all proved their affections for each other by respecting each other’s decisions, and working together to achieve a common goal. As the older sibling of two, I often find myself on the receiving end of endless jeers and remarks from my sister. Even though there is a two-year gap between our ages, we compete for titles such as the highest test score, the one with the most friends. But in the end, we often cooperate, and help build on each other to improve.
In the book, a prophecy is mentioned, one that determines the fates of the sisters. Personally, I don’t agree with the concept that prophecies always come true. I believe that our fate isn’t written in the stars. We write our own legacy, and will always stand by it. I encourage every kid out there, to be brave, to not be afraid of showing their weaknesses. They do not make us weak, they help make us strong.