Thursday, October 1, 2015

{Giveaway} The Tale of Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein

The Determined Heart by Antoinette May
: September 29, 2015 by Lake Union Publishing
I love reading historical fiction books about historical figures. (I almost want to call them biopics, but that doesn't make sense since they aren't movies. So maybe biobooks?) I really enjoy learning new things about historical figures, and I'd rather read it in a fictional tale since I love having a story there as well.

Of course, there is a fine line between biography and "biobook", and when you cross over it's hard to fix, something I've experienced in several books lately. I think sometimes there's a need to put in as much fact as possible, that the story gets a little lost, which is the case here. There is so much detail about Mary Shelley's life and everything that happens to her that it feels like the majority of the book takes place over her entire life. Yet instead it's really only 4 or 5 years of her life, if that, which is almost unbelievable considering how much happened.

I realize this hasn't been the most positive way to start this review, which wasn't my intention, because I actually liked this book. I loved seeing the events that shaped Mary's life and lead her to write Frankenstein. I loved hearing pieces of the public's reaction to it. But was only a small piece of the book.

Instead so much of the book was about Mary's relationships, with her husband, sister, step-sister, children, and friends including the poet Lord Byron. Again here, I actually feel like I got to know so many of the characters that made up Mary's life, but there were almost too many and it was a little too much. There were just so many players and so much that was always happening that it was hard to keep up.

I feel somewhat conflicted writing this review. So much of what I enjoying reading historical fiction was here, and yet in some ways it was too much of a good thing. I can at least say that I know far more about Mary Shelley than I ever would have anticipated, and don't see myself forgetting her or this book.


I have one copy of The Determined Heart to giveaway to one lucky reader. (US and Canada only.) Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.
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Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. This historical sounds intriguing and fascinating. I haven't read anything similar and the setting is my favorite. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I want to read this because I am, coincidentally, reading FRANKENSTEIN right now.

  3. This sounds really interesting. I always like reading the story behind the story, as it were.