Remarkable Creatures = Finished

TitleRemarkable Creatures
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Genre: historical fiction
Length: 310 pages
Rating: 4/5
Challenges: Historical Fiction Challenge, 2010 Resolutions

Remarkable Creatures summary from

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.

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.

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.

I rather enjoyed this novel. While the story wasn’t that exciting or intriguing, I was interested in the historical aspect of it. It revolves around the time of evolutionary theory coming into play in the science world. The characters in the novel were real people, as this was an historical fiction, but Chevalier made their lives more interesting to readers than a non-fiction work probably could have. As to why I enjoyed the novel, it’s hard to say. I think that, since I haven’t had time to read in the past few months because of my student teaching (internship), I was just glad to be reading SOMETHING for a change.

This book counts towards my Historical Fiction Challenge and my 2010 Resolutions, as it was a book published in 2010. And, as per usual, at the end of the year I will try to un-overlap my challenges so that the books don’t count for more than one challenge. As of now, I’ll just keep it in both.


Next book, which I already started and love, is Blankets. I heard wonderful things about it from Michelle. It is a graphic novel, which I have enjoyed in the past, so I think it’s about time for another one.

2 thoughts on “Remarkable Creatures = Finished

  1. Dominique says:

    Great review! This one sounds like an interesting read. I’ve heard a lot about it lately.
    I still haven’t read a graphic novel. I really need to.

  2. Audrey says:

    Remarkable Creatures sounds like a good read. Thanks for this great review! I love historical fiction books, and just finished a great one entitled, “Power of a Woman,” which is about Eleanor of Aquitaine and told through her voice. The author took me into her world, which was both interesting and entertaining. I highly recommend this one.

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