The Heart Specialist & Remarkable Creatures

Book Pairing

The Heart Specialist   Remarkable Creatures

The thickest thread that connects these two books together is how the main character in each novel is a woman who is ahead of her time—taking on research or an interest which (during that period in society) was considered strictly a man’s role.  For instance, in the first story, Agnes White is enthralled with organs and wants to study at McGill to become a physician.  As we know, when McGill first opened, it simply did not allow female students.  It was only in 1884 that women were finally welcome to apply to the school.  Despite all the challenges, Agnes (who is really based on Dr. Maude Abbott) becomes the first women to do research on congenital heart disease.  As for the second tale, Mary Anning is a paleontologist who’s discovery of prehistoric bones gets credited to a man instead, since it was not a woman’s place to be on the beach looking for fossils.  Although each book takes place on a different continent, they share thinner threads—such as a focus on friendship and the love of science, not to mention that they feature the lives of people who actually existed.  Both narratives are told in first person, which gives us a personal view of the protagonists.  They are also well written and the topics are of definite interest, sharing the same tone overall.

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