Monday, 24 January 2011

Remarkable Creatures

Today I am going to write about another book I read quite recently, while on holiday in England! The book is ''Remarkable Creatures'' by Tracy Chevalier. For those to whom the name of the author might mean something, she is the author of the very well-known book ''The Girl With The Pearl Earring'', which has been made into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth (yummy!!!). Anyway, this post is about ''Remarkable Creatures''. So, let's get on with it!

As someone might realise just by looking at the cover of the book, the story is about fossils. More specifically, it is the story of two women and their love of fossils, which led them to many great discoveries. Two women who are actual historical characters (even though I have to admit I had never heard of them before...). The book tells the story of two women pioneers in the field of fossils: Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Anning.
Set in Lyme Regis, the book tells the story of Mary Anning, who was struck by lightning when she was only a baby and miraculously survived. Mary Anning is an actual physical person, not a fictional character. She used to collect fossils (or ''curies'' as she called them) with her father from a very young age, which they used to sell to people who came to visit Lyme Regis. The used the curies as a way of providing an extra income for their family, as many people would pay for a memento such as that.
The story follows Mary through the years, beggining with her childhood and first meeting with Elizabeth Philpot and going through her big discoveries in the field of fossils, while, at the same time, describing her unique relationship with the other main character, Elizabeth.
I think that I have said more than enough about the book, now... Maybe even TOO much. I think you get the gist of it though!
So, now, on to my own comments about this book. As I mentioned in the introduction, I read this book in the summer after my Grandma recommended that I read it. I was a bit reluctant at first, because I had never read a story by Tracy Chevalier before (even though I had heard of her) and because of the fact that the story did not sound particularly interesting to me, after having read the back cover. But, nevertheless, I decided to read it and I have not regeretted my decision. It truly is a wonderful book! It is very well written and the story is not at all boring (as it turns out). She describes everything in great detail, which is very important, especially in the fossils' department. All in all, I would give this book a rating of 8/10.
Tracy Chevalier is an American novelist, who lives in London. She has a B.A. in English Language from Oberlin College. In 1993 - after many years of working as an editor - she quit her job in order to participate in an M.A. in creative writing, at the University of East Anglia. The first book she published was ''The Virgin Blue'' in 1997, but she rose to fame with her second book, ''The Girl With The Pearl Earring'', which was published in 1999. Her other books include ''The Girl and The Unicorn'' and ''Falling Angels''. ''Remarkable Creatures'' is her latest book.

And, as always, some links for anybody who is interested!

Goodbye for now! Until next time!


  1. Hello
    Just taking a look round your site. I liked your review of Remarkable Creatures - I really enjoyed this book even though I didn't pick it up to read immediately. Girl with the Pearl Earring is also really good.

  2. Thank you very much! I enjoyed reading it too! I definitely want to read Girl With A Pearl Earring, but I haven't managed to get hold of it where I live!


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