Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 29, 2015)
Frankenstein lives on as one of the most fascinating fictional creations of all time, but the true personal story of the women behind this work of genius is equally as compelling. In her new historical novel, The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein (Lake Union Publishing; September 29, 2015), New York Times bestselling author Antoinette May brings to life the tragic story of obsessive love, betrayal, and redemption that spawned an enduring classic. In a story more dramatic and tragic than anything a writer could invent, the lives of Mary Shelley, her great love, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her complex web of family and friends entwine in a chronicle of strange behavior, bohemian attitudes, and unconventional acts as far ahead of their time as the amazing literary work that grew from them.
Mary Godwin Shelley was the daughter of two revolutionary thinkers—political philosopher William Godwin and philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. An unconventional childhood in an intellectual, if impecunious household would shape the young girl’s renegade spirit. When still a teenager, she ran off with the already-married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, an act of equal parts passion and defiance that led to a life of wandering destitution. Espousing free love, the couple would endure its share of tragedies, each of which would add to their romantic legacy. From the darkness that surrounded her life, though, the brilliant and talented Mary imagined a timeless work of fiction that secured her place in history, if not her happiness.
The Determined Heart is a masterful work of historical fiction that reanimates the timeless story of an iconic literary life.
About Antoinette May
Antoinette May is the author of Pilate’s Wife and The Sacred Well and coauthor of the New York Timesbestseller Adventures of a Psychic. An award-winning travel writer specializing in Mexico, May divides her time between Palo Alto and the Sierra foothills.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.
Ok, who hasn't been fascinated with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for their whole life?
I don't think there has ever been a time in my life where I wasn't aware of Frankenstein, the story, the movies, I mean to this day it's such a famous well known work of fiction.
But who exactly was Mary Shelley and what was her life like, what made her tick, where did she come from and why did she end up writing such a strong work of fiction?
I will admit that I'm never really one to wonder about the book authors, I'm mostly interested in the stories being told than who the writer really is or what they are about. What I did find in this book is that Mary Shelley, to me, is just as fascinating and interesting as the story of Frankenstein itself.
I had no clue that as a teenager she ran away from home with a much older married man, a poet of her time. Her life took so many tumbles and ups and downs beginning with the death of her mother shortly after Mary's birth, her father's struggles to take care of her and her sister, then the arrival of her stepmother, the falling in love with the poet, their life on the run and the bits and pieces that would inspire her to write about Frankenstein.
All these things together created a web of a very fascinating life that I for one was unaware of but am so glad I now know.
What this book has prompted me to do is research more on Mary Shelley and even reread Frankenstein.