A Novel Bunch, the library’s book club, is reading Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. The book is a fictional account of a real person, Mary Anning.
Struck by lightning as a baby, Mary wasn’t an ordinary child. Though poor and uneducated, she had a rare talent for spotting fossils on the beaches of Dorchester. At 12 she discovered the first specimen of an ichthyosaur (a 200 million year old marine reptile) Confounding the religious community, while admired by some in the scientific world, she was supported and befriended by Elizabeth Philpot, a spinster with an interest in fossils. The strong bond between Mary and Elizabeth helps them with struggles against poverty, narrow-mindedness and leads them to exciting discoveries in the 19th century!
A Novel Bunch meets July 15, Wednesday, from 2:00-3:30, at the library. Everyone’s welcome!
A Novel Bunch book club will be discussing Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, next Wednesday, the 25th, from 2:00-3:30. First in a series, published in 2003 it received the New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel 2003!
The novel begins in 1929 with Maisie starting her own private investigation business and goes back and forth from her childhood in domestic service in 1910, to her education by Maurice Blanche (a good friend of Maisie’s employers, Lord and Lady Compton) Maisie’s inquisitive mind is discovered when she’s caught reading in the Compton’s library and Lady Compton is so taken with her that she arranges for her education, while still serving as a maid in the household! Under Maurice’s instruction, Maisie matures into an intelligent, perceptive woman and able to start her own investigative agency! Maisie’s first case begins as a simple case of infidelity, but emerges into a mystery involving a convalescent home for war veterans, called “The Retreat”
Jacqueline Winspear is adept at conveying the historical context surrounding her storyline, developing in depth, contrasting characters and adding a psychological atmosphere to her mysteries. Once you’ve read the first in the series, you’ll want to read all of Maisie Dobbs’ adventures!