NetGalley Review: The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein by Antoinette May

Lake Union Publishing To Be Published Sept. 29, 2015 410 Pages
Lake Union Publishing
To Be Published Sept. 29, 2015
                 410 Pages

Mary Shelley upbringing is consider unconventional almost like the woman herself.  After losing her mother feminist Mary Wollstonecraft from childbirth, Mary’s philosopher father, William Goodwin, marries their neighbor and is raise by a unbending stepmother along with her jealous stepsister.

But Mary wants a life that is her own and when she meet poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, they fall in love and enter a dangerous  relationship. From a love triangle between Shelley, Mary and her sister, to debt and the miscarriage of three children, Mary finds the strength to create Frankenstein but was it worth it? 

I am a sucker for Mary Shelley. Not necessarily her book but her life. This would be the second book I’ve read in regards to her life and I am even more obsessed than I was before.

(The first book was Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill check the review here)

With that being said and excuse the slight bias but I loved this book. If it wasn’t for certain events it would have been finished in two sittings instead of four.

I loved the different viewpoints. The author was able to make me feel I knew each person in Mary’s life without straying from the main character . . . Mary. The care for each character was noticed especially when I read Claire’s, Mary’s stepsister, viewpoint. To say I hated Claire as well as Shelley would be an understatement.

Mary’s life was full of death . . . constantly and it tore at my heart but the author was able to write in a way that you do not hesitate to continue reading the book, despite the emotional up and down. When Mary was happy, life was in full bliss when she was sad, everything sucked. The author was able to write these emotions freely without it feeling forced; it was amazing. And the crazy part of this it didn’t feel like it was a real story. Yes, this book is considered fiction however a lot of Mary’s life in this book really did happen (just do simple research).

Finally, throughout the book there was a sense of suspense and mystery even though I already knew the outcome. I was captivated by the various scenery, the ranging emotions, the constant conflict and the passion for reading and writing. It was a heck of a life to live. A heck of book to read.


5 Pickles

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