Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (♦♦♦♦)

It’s 1804…Mary Anning is a young girl who lives with her family in a coastal English town named Lyme Regis. Since the family is poor, Mary’s father has taught her to hunt for unusual stones in the beach and clean them to be sold for a small fee. Mary’s family survives with little, but that changes for the worse when Richard Anning, Mary’s father, dies suddenly, leaving them buried in debts.

In London, twenty-five year-old spinster Elizabeth Philpot-- along with her sisters Margaret and Louise and Bessie, a servant—is making arrangements to move away from the city due to the marriage of her brother John, whose wife may not want to share her new quarters with her sisters-in-laws. Upon a visit to Lyme Regis, the Philpot sisters decide to settle there.

Mary and Elizabeth meet months before the death of Richard Anning, who is a carpenter, when Elizabeth pays a visit to the Annings to order the making of cabinets to exhibit her growing collection of fish fossils. What begins as a shared passion for fossil hunting derives in a friendship that lasts for most of both women’s lives. During those years, Mary Anning becomes famous due to her discovery of entire fossils of two extinct species baptized as ichthyosaur and plesiosaur.

I really liked Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. First and foremost it is a work of fiction, but it is so well developed that isn’t difficult for the reader to imagine the details that make up daily life for most characters in this book. It is deeply engrossing, utterly fascinating, a literary page turner (and I thought those didn’t exist!) Tracy Chevalier recounts what it takes to feed and maintain a friendship based on shared interests such as that of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, but she also explores the ease with which a friendship can be destroyed when jealousy and fame intrude.

Remarkable Creatures is also a study on a time past when women had no rights, had to be accompanied by a man when they ran errands in a big city like London, and the conventionalisms of society about an unmarried young woman being seen accompanied by a man without chaperones present. Remarkable Creatures also explores the barriers that women who made scientific contributions faced in those times, since their name was rarely associated with the discovery they made.


  1. This looks good too...nice review.

    Stopping by again from Carole's Your Favorite Historical Fiction Post. I am in that list as #4.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

    1. Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth. I am going to visit your site right away.


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