Thursday, 18 February 2016

Song of the Sea Maid by Rebecca Mascull

Song of the Sea Maid
By Rebecca Mascull
Published by Hodder & Stoughton (Paperback - 11 February 2016)
ISBN: 978-1473604377

Publisher's description
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.

My verdict
Song of the Sea Maid is a beautifully written story, set against a fascinating historical and philosophical background.

This stunning novel is more than just a love story, as it explores what it was like to be a woman in the 18th century. Dawnay Price is an anomaly in a world where women don't study science - especially women from a lowly background. But thanks to her high intelligence, sheer persistence and enquiring mind, she's determined to make something of herself from a very young age. Dawnay is given the opportunity to travel to Portugal, on an adventure of a lifetime, to explore previously unchartered territory and the science of ancient civilisations. But war and the environment appear to be against her.

Song of the Sea Maid is so well researched and vividly portrayed that I felt like I had been transported back in time. I could hear the sounds, taste the food and see the sights of Lisbon and the Iberian Peninsula, as if I was part of it too. The characters felt very real and I struggled to put the book down, reading most of it in one sitting. I read the last few chapters in tears and felt very lost when it ended.

I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

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