Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Words in My Hands

By: Guinevere Glasford
28035665Location: FIC GLA
Genre: Historical Fiction

I loved the Miniaturist by Jessie Burton set in Amsterdam in the 17th century, so this book was a buy for me based on that book. It may also have something to do with my ridiculous attraction to The Girl in the Pearl Earring. I have seen that painting, the real one, she looks at you from EVERY angle- it is stunning!
This book  was a finalist  for  the Costa Book Award and the Times called it "Excellent"

The Words in My Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th-century Amsterdam, who works for Mr Sergeant the English bookseller. When a mysterious and reclusive lodger arrives - the Monsieur - Mr Sergeant insists everything must be just so. It transpires that the Monsieur is René Descartes.
This is Helena's story: the woman in front of Descartes, a young woman who yearns for knowledge, who wants to write so badly she makes ink from beetroot and writes in secret on her skin - only to be held back by her position in society.

Weaving together the story of Descartes' quest for reason with Helena's struggle for literacy, their worlds overlap as their feelings deepen; yet remain sharply divided. For all Descartes' learning, it is Helena he seeks out as she reveals the surprise in the everyday world that surrounds him.

When reputation is everything and with so much to lose, some truths must remain hidden. Helena and Descartes face a terrible tragedy and ultimately have to decide if their love is possible at all.

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