Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier This is the first book I have read by Tracy Chevalier, although I have a couple of her other books on my HUGE To-read list. This book jumped off the shelf at the local library NEW BOOKS section, and the story line sounded interesting. I love historical fiction books, especially ones that surround actual historic figures or events. The other thing that drew me to the book is that the protagonists of the book were women, and more importantly, women who acted in ways that were unconventional for the times. Lastly, the book takes place on the English seaside, which is one of the places that I love reading about.

I was not disappointed in this book. What I found in this book, was a wonderful story about the life long friendship between two unconventional women in early 1800s England. Wrapped around the story of their friendship is the story of how fossils discovered by these women set the academic world on it's end at the time. The discovery of the two new species that is outlined in this book were instrumental in encouraging the scientific community of the time to ask questions about fossilized remains of extinct animals, and what that meant to the theories of how we got here. It was the beginnings of the discussions that lead Charles Darwin to publish his theories of evolution and survival of the fittest. I found this discussion and the reactions of people at the time, both the scientific and religious communities, as well as the common people fascinating.

Mostly, though, the story was about the friendship between Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, both people who actually existed. I found that I was happy that these two unconventional figures happened to run into each other and were able to support each other throughout their lives.