Amy's Reviews > Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
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's review
Jan 26, 2010

really liked it
Read from January 18 to 26, 2010

Remarkable Creatures is a beautiful historical fiction story based on the real life story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot. These two women pioneered the uncovering of fossilized creatures and lead many of the scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century.

Set in the city of Lyme, Mary is a girl who has been unusual her whole life. Her uniqueness begins after being struck by lightening as a baby and she continues to be considered different by her community because of her unusual habit of searching for fossils on the beach that has been passed down to her by her father.

Elizabeth, a middle-aged woman who has never been married, and her sisters move to the town and each take to their own hobbies. All of the sisters have the usual hobbies of gardening, keeping home, and baking... all of them except Elizabeth. Elizabeth soon finds her own hobby of fossil discovery, although she lacks the eye of training that Mary possesses.

An unlikely friendship between two women of very different social classes form because of their mutual interest in these fossils as they make rare scientific discoveries by gathering these bones.

When a man comes between the two women, neither can put their egos aside to apologize and they are left to their discoveries alone. When Mary discovers something that their community thinks cannot be made by God's hands, the only person that can preserve her reputation is Elizabeth, because of her social standing.

Will Elizabeth put aside her feelings to defend her friend's honor or will she allow nature to take its course and discredit Mary's standings in the scientific community?

I found the book to be a fast read and a very interesting look at a time when talk of fossils challenged the very belief system of people and a time when women were never intended to pioneer anything other than the keeping of their homes. It was a great book and I look forward to reading more books from Chevalier!

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Beth This is on my TBR pile --- I won it from a fellow book blogger. I have read Chevalier's books and liked them alot! I'm sure I'll like this one, too. -beth

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