Friday, December 16, 2016

The Stargazer's Sister

Maybe you have heard of William Herschel, renowned German composer and astronomer. But it is unlikely you know much about Caroline Herschel, his younger sister. She is the woman behind the man. She walked beside his greatness with her own brilliance that catapulted his dreams and ideas to discover, build and learn things that most deemed outrageous, if not completely impossible in the mid 1700’s. William, whose mind worked at a frantic pace he could not control taught Lina from a very young age about the stars, the sky and the universe. It was unheard of for girls to study at this time so Lina devoured this knowledge William patiently fed to her at every opportunity. As an unattractive young girl in a small German village with no family financial means, it was understood that Lina would lead a life of servitude. Her unloving, bitter mother was both cruel and deceptive with her manipulations. But lucky for Lina that William kept his promise and came back for her and brought her to England to be his trusty assistant. Their life captured in this magnificent historical novel is filled with the discovery of love as well as stars. With absolutely no prior interest in astronomy I surprised even myself as I devoured every word of this unputdownable work of fiction. Through much research and the good fortune of journals and letters that have been preserved, author Carrie Brown was able to treat us with the perfect combination of accuracy and fiction that brought these amazing characters to life. Highly recommend my reader friends!

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