From the moment she's struck by lightening 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.
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.
©2010 Tracy Chevalier; (P)2010 Penguin
I really enjoy stories with complex relationships between female characters and this one didn't disappoint.
I was surprised how deeply I fell in love with this story. I found the characters relatable, and even more so once I did some research and discovered they were based on real people! The simple premise, combined with beliveable twists and turns are what makes this title so worth the read.
One of the best performances of an audio book. Enriched the book for me since I had read it several years ago. Love the unlikely but well suited friendship between Mary and Elizabeth and a view into the early 1800s treatment of women.
Fascinating exploration of the role of women in 19th century science. Will be equally interesting to fans of Jane Austen as fans of Simon Winchester. The narrator's performance is flawless. Highly recommended.
…because reading is so personal -- like clothing or food. But I must say this book was a huge disappointment. I have read (or listened to) everything Chevalier has written. I love them all, so it was a big surprise to get one-quarter of the way through this book only to feel like I wasn't going to make it to the end. I did, and it didn't get any better. The story was really awful. I can get through a reader who is not so great, but if the story isn't compelling, there's nothing the reader can do for the book. It's like an actor in a bad play. To be frank, I finished the book this morning and cannot recall if the performance helped the story in any way. It certainly couldn't hurt it.
I would listen to Remarkable Creatures again because of the uniqueness of the story in combination of the fact that the characters are real historical people. The voicing is wonderfully done, especially for the two main characters, Mary and Elizabeth. The Jane Austen references and setting of the story add another aspect of complexity - that the women butt against social conventions of the time. There is a nicely paced developmental evolution of the characters as the book progresses. This becomes evident as their discoveries become more remarkable and they must confront the male dominated world of science as well as fight for the monetary value of their discoveries.
The novel retained my interest throughout. There are some repetitive themes but I kept looking forward to the outcome of each encounter. This book, based on a historical figure, appealed to my interest in nature and history.
Absolutely. The writing and story are wonderful.
The interesting topic, story line and focus on women in history.
Tracy Chevalier is one of the 21st Century's best writers. She is amazing. Her other books have been a bit depressing due to the subject matter, but I didn't find this one to be!
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
yes, I don't know what made me buy this book at first. it is totllay not a book I would normally pick but I am glad it made its way into my library.
There was two times where the friendship of mary and elizabeth was tested and it was revealed that Elizabeth was a very loyal friend.
When Mary and Captain Curie got caught in a landslide was a very heartwrenching moment.
actually I did want to hear what happened next. The narration by thw two different women is very beautifully done. I would never have picked this book because I would have thought it to be maudlin andoverly sentimental and or Romantic. it was none of those things. It was a great story about smart women trying to survive without a man. I am sure it is easier today but I can relate being somewhat of a spinster myself. However Elizabeth never felt sorry for herself rather embraced the fact that her situation allowed her to do things other " ladies" could not.
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