Sharon's Reviews > The Coral Thief

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott
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Aug 26, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

If you like your historical fiction to be filled with vivid imagery, then Rebecca Stott is the author to read. One review went so far as to say that she has created a new genre--the historical, scientific, romance-thriller. In The Coral Thief we are taken to Paris of 1815, shortly after the defeat of Napoleon by the British Navy at Waterloo and about twenty years after the French Revolution. Rebecca said that she spent time in the Rare Books Room at Cambridge Library where she came across an 1815 guidebook to Paris, hence her so vivid portrayal of the city. Daniel Connor is a young medical student from Edinburgh who goes to Paris to study anatomy at the Jardin des Plantes. But all of his introductory documents and specimens get stolen before he can begin his tenure with the famed Dr. Cuvier. Daniel ends up falling in love with his 'thief' who challenges his view of the world at a time when all of Europe is in a pre-Darwin evolutionary debate. The Transformist idea that species are not fixed but changing all of the time becomes a central theme through the book. This was a fascinating time period and place to be in the world, and Rebecca takes you back to this time in history so enjoyably.
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