A Mosaic of Wings
It’s 1885, and all Nora Shipley wants, now that she’s graduating from Cornell University as valedictorian of the entomology program, is to follow in her late father’s footsteps by getting her master’s degree and taking over the scientific journal he started.
About A Mosaic of Wings
It’s 1885, and all Nora Shipley wants, now that she’s graduating from Cornell University as valedictorian of the entomology program, is to follow in her late father’s footsteps by getting her master’s degree and taking over the scientific journal he started. The only way to uphold her father’s legacy is to win a scholarship, so she joins a research expedition in Kodaikanal, India, to prove herself in the field.
India isn’t what she expects, though, and neither is the rival classmate who accompanies her, Owen Epps. As her preconceptions of India–and of Owen–fall away, she finds both far more captivating than she expected. Forced by the expedition leader to stay at camp and illustrate exotic butterflies the men of the team find without her, Nora befriends Sita, a young Indian girl who has been dedicated to a goddess against her will.
In this spellbinding new land, Nora is soon faced with impossible choices–between saving Sita and saving her career, and between what she’s always thought she wanted and the man she’s come to love.
I fell in love with the book cover and I couldn’t wait to start reading this novel – and it did not disappoint me at all. I could not put this novel down, and read it in one night (I drove my husband a bit crazy as he was trying so hard to sleep and I just couldn’t turn off the light and put the book down).
Nora is a strong, determined young woman who does not let society tell her what she can or cannot do. Her Father was an entomologist with his own journal, and she is determined to follow in his own steps. She has accomplished what so many other woman would love to do (or perhaps were too afraid to say they wanted to do) – earning an undergraduate degree and applying for her Masters in entomology. She is awarded a rare opportunity to prove herself on a research trip in India – where she is again confronted with male figures that did not believe in a female scientist.
What she doesn’t expect in these travels is to find love in a classmate who has always been her rival, a culture that is beautiful but with some beliefs that she just can’t stand by and let happen and an experience that opens her mind and heart to her future and what really matters in life.
Nora is just an amazing character – she is everything that you want to see in a novel. I loved how so many times throughout the novel she corrected her classmates about the difficulty of being a woman in the academic world (not to mention society in general during this time period). She is constantly having to prove herself, where a man could shrug and laugh off the same mistake. Women were supposed to get married, have children and take care of the house – their feelings and thoughts never really considered. Nora defied this at every turn – earning her degree, her spot on the research expedition and continuing her studies. She stood up for what she believed in, which many times got her in a lot of trouble but in her heart she knew that it was the right thing to do.
This was an incredible novel from start to finish, I enjoyed every moment and could not put it down. I loved the characters, the plot and the way the story was written (I have never read a story quite like this before!). It is a definite must read novel.
You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.
About the Author
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind. You can find Kimberly at www.kimberlyduffy.com.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.