Sunday, August 15, 2010


Book: Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier

The summer of James Foot had been the height of Margaret's potential. The following season she was treated as a fine gown that has dated in storage, the neckline now too high or low, the cloth a touch faded, the cut no longer so flattering. We were surprised that this could happen as easily in Lyme as London, yet there was little we could do to change it. Margaret kept her friends and made new ones from the seasonal visitors. But she no longer returned at night with a sparkle and a dance around the kitchen. In time the turbans she persisted in wearing seemed less daring and more a Philpot peculiarity. She did not manage to escape into marriage like Frances, but sank into spinsterhood beside Louise and me. 
There are worse fates.
(taken from p.55 as nothing on p.56)

Note: Tracy Chevalier never fails to inspire and appeal. I've read three other of her books (The Lady and the Unicorn, The Virgin Blue, and Girl with the Pearl Earring) and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. She is a straight-forward storyteller, but investing enough emotion and truth that you can't help but tie yourself to every life and every character. Remarkable Creatures is no different. Telling the story of two amazing women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, Chevalier breathes air into their remarkable lives, both as women and as major contributors to the study of geology. 

Now both this book and Persuasion make me desperately want to visit Lyme Regis! 

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