Natalie Salmon's Reviews > Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
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Sep 22, 11

Read from September 17 to 22, 2011

I really loved this book. I visited Dorset's Jurasic coast earlier this year and visited a fossil shop and bought an amonite. Sadly I didn't get the chance to fossil hunt myself though I have done in the past on the north east coast near Whitby. The novel is about the lives of two very different women in the early 19th Century who are drawn together by fossils in Lyme Regis.

The characterisation of the two women was vivid and believable and the story engaging. What I loved most about this novel was how it evoked a real sense of discovery and excitement in learning experienced by the two women. This desire to learn and understand is tempered by the restraints of the age which prevented women from an equal education and is really sobering.

The two narators and many of the other characters in this novel are real historical figures. I was left with a feeling of extreme gratitude and admiration of theses pioneering women who persisted in their own quiet ways to push the boundaries of what was "acceptable" for a woman to learn about and engage in. They both made sacrifices so that they could continue to study fossils in their own unoffical ways whilst formal study was denied them. The novel also examins class and religious issues which interfered with opportuities to study I feel very privileged to live at a time when I can study on equal terms to anyone else.
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