A voyage of discovery, two remarkable women, and an extraordinary time and place enrich this New York Times bestselling novel by Tracy Chevalier, author of At the Edge of the Orchard and Girl With a Pearl Earring.
On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms, and landslips, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man.
Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset.
Remarkable Creatures is a stunning historical novel that follows the story of two extraordinary 19th century fossil hunters who changed the scientific world forever.
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More to the title than meets the eye
One of Tracy Chevalier's better books in that it inspires one to look for remarkable creatures when walking the beach - the fossils themselves as well as the people looking for them. The two narrators are easy to listen to, and one can envision Mary and Elizabeth, as well as their families. The men are perfunctory and irritating, but it is the 1800's - a time when women were not considered as intelligent or diligent as men. Tracy Chevalier breathes life into all of her characters, and you either love them or hate them. I loved Mary & Elizabeth equally. I enjoyed listening to this book, and seeing it in my mind's eye. Virgin Blue and The Unicorn & The Lady are still my favorite books by this author, but I could listen to this one again, too.