by Tracy Chevalier
“He made me feel an idiot, even when I knew he was a bigger one than I.”
This is my first review ever on Tracy Chevalier, and it won’t be the best one.
I started reading her novels a few years ago, when I still was at high school, and I have always enjoyed and loved her stories.
I consider her a great writer, but after Girl with Peral Earing, The Lady and the Unicorn and The Last Runaway, I read in March (2017) Remarkable Creatures and I felt a bit disappointed, only because of certain aspects I will mention in my review.
Firstly, this book is different from the others I have mentioned, and it has good and bad characteristics; yep, for example, there are a few male characters – no more than four almost – and they are always less important than the female ones.
This is a good aspect for me, because it demonstrates that there are good stories without men, and the two main female protagonists, Mary and Elizabeth, are a good model for any girl or woman, thanks to their will and strength.
The story, based on true facts and people, is a really good one, and I was happy that Tracy Chevalier decided to tell the story of a woman like Mary who is almost unknown to many people all around the world.
But, they way in which the story is told is quite boring for me.
My fault, maybe, but I was used to her intrigues, her descriptions etc., while in this book there are just a few relevant events.
I don’t know if it is a technique that the author chose to describe, indirectly, the boring existence at Lyme of her characters during the beginning of the 19th century, but it was hard for me to go on with my reading.
I don’t want to say too much actually, I leave you your time to read it and judge by yourself.
I can say that it is not one of the worst books I have ever read, but according to the style and narration of the other books of this writer, I think that this one could be written in a different way, it could be more detailed in certain chapters but less in others.
Another positive aspect of this book is the Englishness of its landscapes and characters which are perfectly described, and you feel part of it.
Despite appreciating it or not, Remarkable Creatures is a story anyone should know, because it is the story of a girl, then a woman, that despite the social barriers of her time, and thanks to the help of another woman, older than her, had the chance to be part of the history of her country.
Hope you will read it.