Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Movement of Stars

Amy Brill

A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different—and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah’s standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

I started this book with some hesitation. I was certainly interested in the part about stars and astronomy, but wasn’t sure about the time period and the religious basis. For some reason, I thought the story would be stodgy, filled with “thees” and “thys” and stuffiness.

I could not have been more wrong. I felt an immediate connection to Hannah. She was bright and spunky in a time when bright and spunky females were not appreciated. Due to the time period and her religion, womens lives were dictated by men. Hannah refuses to give up on her dreams and forges her way to an amazing place in history.

I think that Ms. Brill did an outstanding job with this piece of historical fiction. It was never boring and I cheered for Hannah every step of the way. This is an inspiring story of a women who stood up against the odds. What a delight!

I would like to thank Riverpress Hardcover, via Netgalley, for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: April 18, 2013.

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