The Movement of Stars

This historical novel is based on the life of 19th century astronomer Maria Mitchell, but uses a different character (Hannah Price) and changes some people and events. Since most people are not that familiar with Maria Mitchell’s life, it works on its own. In fact, it works much better than the novel about Ben Franklins’ son, whose father we know too much about. Brill tells a touching romance while describing Quaker life in 1840s Nantucket, the excitement of discovering comets, and the limitations imposed on women and blacks in 19th century America. It will be interesting to see if the author can come up with a unique plot for her next novel without the advantage of borrowing from the life of a real historical figure.

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