Remarkable Creatures; Tracy Chevalier
In this fascinating historical novel set in the 19th century, Elizabeth Philpot is a smart, middle-aged (25) spinster, who has recently moved with her sisters to Lyme Regis England. Since a spinster must have an interest, Elizabeth quickly finds pleasure in trolling the beaches for fossils, labeling her finds and researching fossils.
Mary Anning is a local girl from a poor family who was struck by lightening as a child. Self educated, it appears that somehow for her having been struck by lightening gave her a intellectual advantage. Mary is obsessed with fossil hunting as well. She tries to help her parents by selling her finds to tourists. When Mary discovers an intact dinosaur skeleton she gets noticed in the male-dominated field of paleontology.
Based on the real life fossil discoveries and scientific contributions of Mary Anning and, her 20 year friendship with fellow fossil hunter Elizabeth Philpott, Remarkable Creatures was an informative and entertaining read, even though I really have no interest in paleontology. The author did a terrific job of transporting the reader to another time and place while at the same time demonstrating the inequality toward women in the field of geology. The beach setting created an amazing sense of place, and the writing was both witty and engrossing. Recommended - 4.5/5 Stars
(Advance Review Copy provided by Amazon Vine program).