Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

What a well written book this was. I had not heard of the author until I read this wonderful book. Most of you know I am a wee bit obsessed with Colin Firth, er.. you’ll see where I’m going with this.. The author of this particular book also wrote ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earring’  and of course Colin Firth starred in the film version. This is sadly the one and only film of Colin Firth’s I have not seen, and since I need to read the book first .. um,  yes! I am of the mindset that I have to read the book before watching the film. I will be doing so soon.  Moving on to Remarkable Creatures….

If you love Jane Austen and long for a book from that era with a bit of mystery to it, this is the book for you. Austen herself makes an appearance but only in passing. Austen-ites will love the obsession with gender inequality, class and the two intelligent women who form a rather odd but enduring friendship over fossils. This book is a sort of homage to fossils, the setting is beautiful.. think Sense and Sensibility without Edward Ferrars, or Colonel Brandon. Elizabeth Philpot ( not un-like Elizabeth Bennet) moves to the the Coastal Town ..Lyme Regis  from London and establishes a lovely friendship with Mary Anning who is poor, belongs to the working class, and is almost always looked down upon, so much so, that walking together on the street is against some sort of class-code if you will. Elizabeth who does not believe in class distinction, although she has to conform on occasion, becomes Mary’s protector and through their common interest over fossils helps her fight off those who want to exploit  Mary. Their friendship is tested when a certain man expresses more than an interest in fossils. The book from then on… explores which relationships are allowed and not allowed in certain social situations with a strong emphasis on propriety. The story is based on true characters, therein lies its appeal. I was so enthralled by Mary Anning’s story that I researched her life as soon as I had finished with this book. ‘Girl With The Pearl Earring and ‘The Lady and The Unicorn’ are next. I can’t wait to tell you about it.


One Comment

  1. Thanks so much for this review, Mummy! And because of it, I’ll pick up my copy and read it 🙂 I’ve read other novels by her, and have enjoyed them thoroughly, especially, ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’ – love historical fiction, and Colin Firth’s film 🙂 Would love to hear what you think of it. Cheers!


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