Erin W's Reviews > Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
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's review
Mar 20, 12

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, on-my-shelves, 2011
Read in February, 2011

In typical Chevalier fashion, this novel places a real-life figure into a fictionalized narrative. Mary is a charming character, plain spoken and strange and talented, and seeing her plunged into a world she supposedly has no right to be in--because of her sex, because of her class--is great fun. She's ambitious, but learns quickly to be wary, because few of the men in the story--geological scholars and dealers--have any qualms at all about cutting her off without her share. It might have been any woman entering any business world, feeling her way through on instinct and luck, but the fossil stuff is interesting, too. If Persuasion didn't put Lyme Regis on the Places to See Before I Die list, this book probably will.

There may have been a brief romantic interlude involved, but I barely remember that. The real enduring relationship in this book is between Mary and Miss Elizabeth, a mildly cranky spinster who also loves rocks. Their relationship, built solely on their shared hobby, unfolds and evolves in interesting ways.

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