A Love Story

eBook - 2010
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Mary made fascinating paleontological discoveries that were co-opted by the established male scientists.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, [2010]
Copyright Date: © 2010
ISBN: 9781551993539
Branch Call Number: OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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May 15, 2019

I loved this novel. Joan Thomas did a good job with this one.

Feb 17, 2018

A worthwhile read in a genre that I rarely pick up. It took quite a while to reach anything remotely romantic, so if that is what you are seeking, you will be disappointed. Being in love is a powerful experience with two characteristics common to almost everyone that struggles their way through it - fixation and passion. Mary Anning is clearly fixated on Henry, but never once do I sense the least bit of passion. Her life, however, is very difficult for me or almost anyone living in Canada today to imagine. I don't know how she survived such harsh conditions. That might account for the lack of passion in this account of her feelings for Henry. It wasn't until after I finished reading this novel that I discovered that it was based on a real woman of that time. I admire the author for her attempt to capture the life of someone in a historic period so different than our own, but so much of this woman's life went by with so little to show for it, especially on the romantic side. It saddened me. Realistic, maybe, but not very inspirational or entertaining. For that reason, I gave it only 3 stars out of 5.

brianreynolds Sep 17, 2015

Surprisingly, considering my apprehensions about fusing historical "facts" to fiction's truths, I found Joan Thomas's Curiosity interesting on both levels. Her "love story" is both moving and humorous chiefly because the obstacles to the affair, class and fortune, are drawn so vividly and seamlessly. Even more, for me (perhaps because the current political atmosphere in my country is now one where Science is being hammered and shaped to fit the ideology of the present government) I enjoyed the battle between what are now obvious observations of Natural History and the amazing attempt to fit the geological discoveries of the early 19th century into the Christian Book of Genesis. How indeed did Noah get two Brontosaurs onto the Ark? I wonder if that keeps our Prime Minister awake at night?

Nov 17, 2014

I had a difficult time getting into this book but the story of Mary Anning's life caught my interest and the writing issues became irrelevant.
I never really had a good handle on the time frame within the novel. The years just went page Mary is 12 years old, the next she seems to be about 18 or so. That issue never resolves itself throughout the book but, again, the story is interesting and one just goes with the flow and forgets Mary's age or the time that is passing by.
This story focusses on a lot: gender issues (women had no voice), class issues (Mary's family's status as "low" class meant that "gentlemen" didn't see or hear them), it touched on creationism: in Mary's time, the Flood of Noah was thought to have been 3000 years ago and all the fossils were from that flood. This led to some issues with aging the fossils. There was also some very basic suggestions of evolution (although it wasn't called that yet).
Mary's story, although interesting, wasn't explored as deeply as I would have liked. I didn't feel that I got to know her or her thoughts; just her life's work.
Despite all that, I enjoyed this book. An interesting read.

Dec 30, 2013

one of two novels about Mary Anning published in 2010 - the other is Remarkable Creatures. each tells her story well but the secondary characters are quite different. I enjoyed both books - read two years apart. fascinating story of an uneducated young Mary who becomes an excellent fossil hunter along the cliffs of Lyme Regis.

Aug 02, 2012

This novel is based on the real life character, Mary Anning, in early 19th century Lyme Regis, who discovered fossils. Men took the credit for her finds. Interesting.

Jun 05, 2011

Slightly silly love stoy. I was hoping for a little more about the fossils.

Jan 25, 2011

A nice surprise - really enjoyed this book and found it intriguing. Mary Anning is someone I had never heard of and I liked the blend of history and fiction.

May 26, 2010

this is a great read -- wonderfully crafted, lots of story as well as history. Thomas explores the differences between men and women as well as class differences in Victorian England at the time of the discovery of ancient bones at the edge of Darwin's discoveries.
She was one of the authors presented at this year's Ottawa Writers Festival.

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