Tina Jordan
January 06, 2010 AT 05:00 AM EST

Remarkable Creatures

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Tracy Chevalier
publisher
Dutton Adult
genre
Fiction, History

We gave it a B-

”Mary Anning leads with her eyes.” Turns out they’re eyes that can sweep the desolate rockstrewn beaches of Lyme Regis and see what no one else can: fossils. Poor and uneducated, Mary finds an ally in tart-tongued Elizabeth Philpott, a London spinster who shares her passion for fossil hunting. They band together, challenging the Victorian-era men who try to take credit for Mary’s discoveries. In many ways, Remarkable Creatures is as moving a story as Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. But the author’s jarring scientific asides — especially her discussions of Mary?s finds and their importance in the fossil record — punctuate the narrative so frequently that the story never truly flows. B?

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