Monday, October 12, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Determined Heart

Author: Antoinette May
Title: The Determined Heart
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: Sept 29, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: 
The Determined Heart reveals the life of Mary Shelley in a story of love and obsession, betrayal and redemption.

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

Review: When I started reading this book I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but I got into the story of Mary Shelley quickly and I couldn't put it down.

Mary had quite a unique life, complete with unconventional parents, then a wicked stepmother and jealous step sister that manages to integrate herself into Mary's relationship with Bysshe.

One thing I never quite understood was why they said that Mary and Bysshe eloped, but that was when she leaves to go on the continent. Bysshe was still married to Harriet.

The beliefs that Bysshe and the Godwins held are totally freaky. It is hard figure out how people that are really supposed to be terribly smart can do such stupid things. Like Clara/Claire and Lord Byron. That relationship, along with the friendship between Byron and the Shelley's made me interested in his story, because he really was a strange figure in history. If Byron were around now he'd be a slightly smarter Kardashian.

I really felt for Mary when Fanny took her life. It seemed like her eyes finally opened, and how she seemed to let her half sister, the one she actually liked, fade into the background.

All the relationships were so unusual, which is what made this story so engaging. As the book progresses, you find out that only Bysshe is the only one that really held onto those beliefs. Mary wants to, but it seems she wants a real relationship more.

It really made you feel sorry for Mary most of the time. She followed her heart, but at a great cost, but then again, if she hadn't, she probably wouldn't have become the woman that she was, and that would be a shame.

Loved this book!

Rating: 5 flowers


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I don't know a great deal about Mary and Percy but I did enjoy Frankenstein and I'd love to know a bit more about it's author.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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