- € 9,49
Amy Brill's The Movement of Stars tells a story of illicit love and extraordinary ambition.
It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price dreams of a world infinitely larger than the small Quaker community where she has lived all 25 years of her life - for, as an amateur astronomer, she secretly hopes to discover a comet and win the King of Denmark's prize for doing so.
But she can only indulge her passion for astronomy as long as the men in her life - her father, brother and family friends - are prepared to support it, and so she treads a fine line between pursuing her dreams and submitting to the wishes and expectations of those around her. That line is crossed when Hannah meets Isaac Martin, a young black whaler from the Azores.
Isaac, like Hannah herself, has ambitions beyond his station. Drawn to him despite their differences, Hannah agrees to tutor him in the art of navigation. As their shared passion for the stars develops into something deeper, however, Hannah's standing in the community is called into question, and she has to choose: her dreams or her heart.
Loosely inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first American woman to become a professional astronomer, The Movement of Stars is, at its heart, a glorious - and unusual - love story. With shades of Chocolat and Remarkable Creatures, it will appeal to fans of Tracy Chevalier, Joanne Harris and Rose Tremain.
'Blazes with real feeling and intensity. A terrifically poised and captivating debut' Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
'Spectacular . . . I cheered for Hannah Price, our feisty heroine, as she unraveled the mystery of her own desires while burning a trail for other women to follow' Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
'A bittersweet story, movingly told' Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter
Amy Brill lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. This is her first novel.
A determined young woman, born into a Quaker community in 19th-century Nantucket, defies social norms on the path to becoming a "lady astronomer" in Brill's charming debut novel. Very loosely based on historical "girl" astronomer Maria Mitchell, Hannah Price spends her days going to Quaker meetings and tending to books at her town's library, but nights she spends with her eyes on celestial bodies or crouched over mathematical calculations, dreaming of discovering a comet all her own. A serious girl obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge, Hannah fears the passionate restlessness of her twin brother Edward, even as she rejects the strictures of marrying to attain stability. Hannah's sober routine is interrupted when she takes on a new pupil, Isaac Martin, a sailor from the Azores, whose race shakes up Hannah's standing in the town. Martin's ideas and instinctive personal connection with his new teacher alter her attitude toward love and faith. From the main streets of Nantucket to its dunes and shores, from a Harvard observatory to the cities of Europe, Hannah's emotional and professional journey will please fans of feminist-minded and romantic historical fiction.