Monday, December 21, 2009

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

This was a wonderful book. It's a fictional account of historical fact about Mary Anning, the young girl who found a unique fossilized skeleton on the English coast.

I had read a book some time ago for young readers concerning her and was amazed at how young she was when she found this extraordinary fossil.

This novel fleshes out the story and introduces me to her spinster friend who was much older but also enjoyed digging for fossils.

Elizabeth Philpot has had to move to the seaside village with her two sisters because her brother was getting married and he and his wife would be taking over the household. They don't have much money, so Elizabeth entertains herself by gathering fossils, cleaning them, identifying them, and displaying them in cases.

Mary and her family sell the fossils for their livelihood, even more vitally needed when her father dies while she's still small.

How these two strange friends interact makes the story move along quickly. The early nineteenth century did not allow women much freedom, so there is gossip and innuendo from the villagers.

Dutton will be publishing the book in January. It's a very enjoyable read.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and no spam out)with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll be picking a winner in about a week.


Rae said...

This one sounds like an interesting departure from my usual genre. Plus, I like the fact that women of that time period are doing the "unexpected" things generally not allowed!

Djfshop said...

Sounds like a fun read! Great review