I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published April 19th 2020
No water moles or hoaxes here
Escape the humdrum of everyday life with a good dose of Australiana mixed with history, romance and mystery. The Naturalist's Daughter by Tea Cooper, first published in 2017, provides all those ingredients plus more.
The main characters are two young, independent strong-minded women who battle patriarchal society in their search for truth. The dual timelines of the book relate to Rose Winton (1808) and Tamsin Alleyn (1908) and provide insight to colonial Australia. Rose travels from Agnes Banks NSW to London, to present her father's scientific findings regarding the platypus. The Royal Society is not impressed and she is ridiculed as a hoaxer and charlatan.
An image from 1799 (Wikipedia)
In 1908 Sydney, Tasmin is tasked with investigating the governance and validity of an old sketchbook of scientific drawings of the platypus that has been gifted to the Mitchell Library.
The action takes place in Sydney, Wollombi, the Hawkesbury, London and Cornwall and the descriptions of place and time evoke a strong atmosphere. The characters were all interesting and easy to imagine and a few were quite unlikable.
The Australian historical fiction of The Naturalist's Daughter was very easy to read and the overlying components of romance, science and mystery added to the enjoyment.