Remarkable Creatures – Tracy Chevalier

Title: Remarkable Creatures
Author: Tracy Chevalier
ISBN: 9780525951452
Pages: 320
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Remarkable Creatures is the story of two women who couldn’t be more different.  Elizabeth and her two sisters, gentlewomen who are also spinsters, move to the coastal town of Lyme-Regis after their brother gets married.  Elizabeth has always been interested in science and spends her free time going fossil-hunting on the beach, which is how she meets Mary Anning.  Mary is a poor girl in her teens who hunts fossils and sells them in order to help her family.  She has an incredible eye for picking them out.  Though these two women are from different backgrounds and have a twenty year age difference between them, their love of fossils brings them together. 

Review:

Tracy Chevalier is one of the most famous historical fiction authors, for a very good reason.  She writes vivid and compelling novels that bring characters from history to life and immerse the reader in details from that period in time.  Remarkable Creatures is no exception to the rule of the quality of Chevalier’s historical fiction novels.

I knew virtually nothing about the history of fossils in Britain before starting this novel.  I can’t say I had a lot of interest in the subject when I picked up Remarkable Creatures, but Chevalier makes the history fascinating by putting a human face on it.  She includes intricate historical details that create a wonderful atmosphere for the book.  The novel is very enjoyable and teaches the reader a lot.

The two main characters, Elizabeth and Mary, are incredibly well-drawn.  Though I identified with Elizabeth more, I enjoyed reading both of their voices.  Chevalier creates distinct personalities for each of these women – if you pick up the book and open it to a random page, you can tell which character is narrating simply based on the style of the language.  It’s a difficult thing to do, and Chevalier accomplishes it masterfully.

Remarkable Creatures is different from most of Chevalier’s previous books, but it has the best elements in common with them – it’s enjoyable and very well-written.  The pages fly by as the reader gets more and more involved in Elizabeth’s and Mary’s stories. I definitely recommend this book for any fans of historical fiction.

Comments

  1. This sounds really good. The whole fossils thing seems random and intrigues me.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. This sounds really good. The whole fossils thing seems random and intrigues me.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. I am really looking forward to this one and I’m glad to hear that Chevalier has another winner.

  4. I am really looking forward to this one and I’m glad to hear that Chevalier has another winner.

  5. I enjoyed this Chevalier novel as well; great review!

  6. I enjoyed this Chevalier novel as well; great review!

  7. I enjoyed this novel, too. I was so excited to get a chance to read it over the summer. Great review!

  8. I enjoyed this novel, too. I was so excited to get a chance to read it over the summer. Great review!

  9. this sounds wonderful!!

  10. this sounds wonderful!!

  11. This sounds great! Can’t wait to read it. Loved your review!

  12. This sounds great! Can’t wait to read it. Loved your review!

  13. I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m glad to see you liked it!

  14. I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m glad to see you liked it!

  15. I love Chevalier’s writing and I can’t wait to read this one. I’m really intrigued by the fossils aspect!

  16. I love Chevalier’s writing and I can’t wait to read this one. I’m really intrigued by the fossils aspect!

  17. I really enjoyed your review! I’ve just added this book to my ever-growing TBR list. LOL!

  18. I really enjoyed your review! I’ve just added this book to my ever-growing TBR list. LOL!

  19. This one is the mail and I can’t wait till it arrives!

  20. This one is the mail and I can’t wait till it arrives!

  21. I’ve had this on my wish list for a while and every review I read makes me more and more anxious to buy the book. Great review!

  22. I’ve had this on my wish list for a while and every review I read makes me more and more anxious to buy the book. Great review!

  23. Sounds terrific. I’ve liked all of her books that I’ve read.

  24. Sounds terrific. I’ve liked all of her books that I’ve read.

  25. Sounds great! I love when historical fiction books cause you to want to do research after reading it. The Other Boleyn Girl started my fascinating with the Tudors.

  26. Sounds great! I love when historical fiction books cause you to want to do research after reading it. The Other Boleyn Girl started my fascinating with the Tudors.

  27. I need to read this. I have to admit that my daughter has gotten me more interested in fossils and science in general than I ever was.

  28. I need to read this. I have to admit that my daughter has gotten me more interested in fossils and science in general than I ever was.

  29. I am a big Chevalier fan. Within the past year or two, I had been burnt out on historical fiction. I rarely ever read it anymore–at least not to the extent I have before. Despite that, I never get sick of Chevalier. Her books always seem new and fresh. I can’t wait to read this one.

  30. I am a big Chevalier fan. Within the past year or two, I had been burnt out on historical fiction. I rarely ever read it anymore–at least not to the extent I have before. Despite that, I never get sick of Chevalier. Her books always seem new and fresh. I can’t wait to read this one.

  31. I must read it! I haven’t finished any of Chevalier’s stuff in ages–since Girl With a Pearl Earring. This one sounds so awesome I can’t resist!

  32. I must read it! I haven’t finished any of Chevalier’s stuff in ages–since Girl With a Pearl Earring. This one sounds so awesome I can’t resist!

  33. I heard about this book on a rewiew podcast, and I instantly wanted to read it. I learned about Mary Anning when I was a child (I was interested in fossils and dinosaurs), so I hope that this book is released in Australia soon.

    I don’t usually like historical fiction, but I suspect I’m going to love this.

  34. I heard about this book on a rewiew podcast, and I instantly wanted to read it. I learned about Mary Anning when I was a child (I was interested in fossils and dinosaurs), so I hope that this book is released in Australia soon.

    I don’t usually like historical fiction, but I suspect I’m going to love this.

  35. So glad to hear that you liked this! I’ve been dying to read it and JUST picked it up from the library. I actually didn’t even know what it was about until I read your review!

  36. So glad to hear that you liked this! I’ve been dying to read it and JUST picked it up from the library. I actually didn’t even know what it was about until I read your review!

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