Saturday, April 3, 2010

Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Tracy Chevalier

Remarkable Creatures follows Mary Anning, one of the first women to discover important fossils and reserve any credit. The story centers on her fossil hunting in her home of Lyme Regis. Told from two prospectives Remarkable Creatures gives a solid portrait of 19th Century ideology as well as social practices. Elizabeth Philpot, a spinster new to Lyme shares Mary's love for fossils  and they become fast friends. The story is filled with ups and downs, social faux pas, exciting discoveries and many forms of loss.

Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring) remains true to her historical roots. Her writing style is simple and clean, making for a quick read. Though the subject matter will only really interest a small amount of people, the need for respect and credit for the specimen Mary found are universal.  

While Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot are both strong women they both seem to be lacking as characters. Unlike in other Chevalier novels I had a hard time seeing this woman as anything as caricatures. Even with these character faults the novel is still enjoyable. I recommend it to anyone with any interest in fossils, but if you don't be weary, Mary and Elizabeth have nothing else on their minds.

My Rating:

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