Remarkable Creatures: A Novel

Tracy Chevalier

Plume,  October 2010

From the moment she's struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear Mary Anning is different. Though poor and uneducated, she learns on the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast 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 with both admiration and controversy. Prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster and also a fossil hunter, becomes Mary Anning's unlikely champion and friend, and together they forge a path to some of the most important discoveries of the nineteenth century.

Paperback | ISBN: 9780452296725 | Publication Date: October 2010

"A stunning story, compassionately reimagined. . . . Chevalier turns a warming spotlight on a friendship cemented by shared obsession and mutual respect."
--Ruth Padel, The Guardian (London)

"Engrossing . . . [an] illuminating story of women finding fulfillment is shared passions and the bounds of friendship."
--Los Angeles Times

"So vivid you can feel the sea breeze on your face."

"Riveting . . . With this intriguing story, Chevalier convincingly creates a past time and place and gives a nod to two forgotten women."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"Delightful . . . a rich and appealing portrait."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[Chevalier] admirably weaves historical figures and actual events into a compelling narrative. We care for these two headstrong women as they defy, sometimes unwittingly by just being themselves, the conventions of their day. It is a remarkable story about two very remarkable women."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"As with her earlier work, [Remarkable Creatures] gives us the minutiae of everyday life and evocative, almost visceral response to the visual world."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Chevalier excavates her two main characters with great confidence and wit. . . . Like a fossil hunter herself, she has again combed the beaches of history for subject matter and created an egging story for the modern reader."
--Financial Times