Friday, January 29, 2016

Remarkable Creatures; Tracy Chevalier

Remarkable Creatures; Tracy Chevalier
2009 - Penguin

As I read this book for my book group it sounded like a story I heard before or a movie I had seen. I read the book and finished the review today, and when I went to post the review of Amazon, I saw that I read and reviewed this one in January of 2010 (6 years ago) duh! In 2010, I rated this 4.5/5 stars and today without reading my old review I gave it 4/5 stars.

2016 review

Remarkable Creatures is a fictionalized story, set in the early 1800s, about two British women whose friendship and passion for fossils played a key role in furthering the science of paleontology.

As an infant Mary Anning, who was born to poor working class parents, was struck by lightening. Although three others near her were killed Mary survived, leaving her with a unique of spotting fossils that no one else could see.

Elizabeth Philpot, some 20 years older than Mary and considered a spinster, moved to Lyme Regis on the coast of England along with her sisters from London. She develops a newfound passion of trolling the beaches for fossils.  It is pursing this passion that she meets Mary Anning, also a fossil hunter who was making a name for herself. Her finds helped to lay the groundwork for Darwin's theories on evolution.  Some of her fossil treasures can be found in British museums and one in Paris.

I found the story interesting but, certainly not action packed but, the way the author made me feel transported to another place and time more than made up for the slower pace.  I was not surprised to read how hard it was for these women to be taken seriously in scientific circles dominated by men.  I loved that we got to hear each woman's story from there POV. I also enjoyed the imagery created and how easy it was to imagine how each felt and understand what each was thinking.

This book was chosen as a book group read.  At first glance I thought it probably was not a "me book", but overall, I was glad I read this one.  Girl With the Pearl Earring was another book by this author that was well done as well.

4/5 stars -- 2016 review
(library book)

(Here is my 2010 review in case you are interested)

19 comments:

  1. I haven't read this one yet but am not so drawn to its description the way I was to her other books.

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    1. It was good, but I really loved Girl with the Pearl Earring.

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  2. I think this is the only one of her novels I haven't read. Funny that it seemed familiar while you were reading and it turned out you'd read it before! Sounds like something I would do ;-)

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    1. I actually thought maybe it was a movie I saw as I read LOL

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  3. I laughed about your 'reread' story, Diane. Definitely something I would have done. I remember reading about this book in the past, probably about 2010. I have read one book by this author - the Pearl Earring one. And I think I liked it well enough. The setting of Lyme made me think of Jane Austen's Persuasion. I was just commenting on Les' blog about Sense & Sensibility and that location jumped out at me. :-)

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    1. LOL - my memory is pretty sharp so this really surprised me.

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  4. Don't you hate when you do that? lol I'm just not crazy about that time period so I probably won't read it.

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  5. That's probably not for me, although it does sound good.

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  6. I read this one several years ago and remember loving it. I thought how unfairly women were treated and although I didn't think I would necessarily love this book I ended up just being fascinated by the thought of women of science of that era.

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  7. No, it's not action-packed but I found it fascinating, and you're right, women scientists were dismissed and trivialized and yet those with the passion found a way to keep on working to learn about the world and its wonders.

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  8. It's been ages since I've read anything by this author. I enjoyed Girl With a Pearl Earring, but I also really liked Falling Angels. Have you read it? I think it was published in 2002.

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    1. LOL - I can't recall, but suppose I could have read that one too LOL

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  9. I've put this one in my imaginary cart on Barnes & Noble several times but always removed it before I pulled the trigger. But seeing how it still holds up very well on reread, I need to pull the trigger next time!

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    1. I do that all the time --checking if price drops LOL

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  10. lol! I have this one and wanted to see what you thought and I got to see what you rated it twice :) My mom is always rereading books.

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