This book was sent to me via Bookbridgr for an honest review.
“In the 18th century, Dawnay Price is an anomaly. An educated foundling, a woman of science in a time when such things are unheard-of, she overcomes her origins to become a natural philosopher.
Against the conventions of the day, and to the alarm of her male contemporaries, she sets sail to Portugal to develop her theories. There she makes some startling discoveries – not only in an ancient cave whose secrets hint at a previously undiscovered civilisation, but also in her own heart. The siren call of science is powerful, but as war approaches she finds herself pulled in another direction by feelings she cannot control.”
This book was not what I expected it to be; the idea of a young unmarried woman setting off unattended for a foreign climate in the 1700’s is quite shocking, and would have been thought scandalous at the time. I know that there were instances of women running off to fight in wars dressed as boys, but for Dawnay Price to shirk convention and follow her dreams, as a woman, shows quite a strength of character.
I expected there to be a lot more about how the society of the times reacted to such an independent woman, but the author focused more on Dawnay’s scientific observations and descriptions of the environment. In my opinion it seemed almost too easy for her to get her benefactor to agree to the scheme.
The author clearly did a lot of research when writing this novel, and it shows in the references to the customs and well known characters of the times.
I would describe this as a situational rather than character driven story, and to be honest it’s not really my cup of tea. If you like detailed historical fiction then you will enjoy this book – I will be passing it onto my mum.
If you’ve read this book, or are thinking or reading it let me know in the comments.