Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Remarkable creatures
2010
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Map It
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Mary Anning (Female), Struck by lightening; can see things, others can't
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Topics
Friendship
Female friendships
Supernatural beings
History
Prejudice
British culture
Setting
England - Europe
Time Period
1800s -- 19th Century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

New York Times best-selling author Chevalier's (www.tchevalier.com) sixth historical novel, following Burning Bright (2007)-also available from Recorded Books and Penguin Audio-centers on two unique women who bond over their shared love of fossils. Chevalier's overemphasis on the gender inequalities and class rivalries of early 19th-century England occasionally weighs the novel down, but the juxtaposition of actresses Charlotte Parry's and Susan Lyons's vocal qualities as they render their respective characters provides auditory interest, and the joint narration of the text helps to move the story along. Those with a predilection for historical fiction, English settings, and strong female characters will greatly enjoy this audio, which benefits from beginning- and end-of-disc announcements. [The Dutton hc received a starred review, LJ 11/1/09.-Ed.]-David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Chevalier's newest is a flat historical whose familiar themes of gender inequality, class warfare and social power often overwhelm the story. Tart-tongued spinster Elizabeth Philpot meets young Mary Anning after moving from London to the coastal town of Lyme Regis. The two quickly form an unlikely friendship based on their mutual interest in finding fossils, which provides the central narrative as working-class Mary emerges from childhood to become a famous fossil hunter, with her friend and protector Elizabeth to defend her against the men who try to take credit for Mary's finds. Their friendship, however, is tested when Colonel Birch comes to Lyme to ask for Mary's help in hunting fossils and the two spinsters compete for his attention. While Chevalier's exploration of the plight of Victorian-era women is admirable, Elizabeth's fixation on her status as an unmarried woman living in a gossipy small town becomes monotonous, and Chevalier slows the story by dryly explaining the relative importance of different fossils. Chevalier's attempt to imagine the lives of these real historical figures makes them seem less remarkable than they are. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
<br> A voyage of discoveries, a meeting of two remarkable women, and extraordinary time and place enrich bestselling author Tracy Chevalier's enthralling new novel <br> <br> From the moment she's struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear that Mary Anning is marked for greatness. On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, she learns that she has "the eye"--and finds what no one else can see. When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. In an arena dominated by men, however, Mary is barred from the academic community; as a young woman with unusual interests she is suspected of sinful behavior. Nature is a threat, throwing bitter, cold storms and landslips at her. And when she falls in love, it is with an impossible man.<br> <br> Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a recent exile from London, who also loves scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy. Ultimately, in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.<br> <br> Remarkable Creatures is a stunning novel of how one woman's gift transcends class and social prejudice to lead to some of the most important discoveries of the nineteenth century. Above all, is it a revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship.<br> <br> <br> <br> Watch a Video
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1