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A Mosaic of Wings

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Author: Kimberly Duffy

Published: May 5th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

Format: Paperback , 352 pages

Isbn: 9780764235634

Language: English


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Determined to uphold her father's legacy, newly graduated Nora Shipley joins an entomology research expedition to India to prove herself in the field. In this spellbinding new land, Nora is faced with impossible choices--between saving a young Indian girl and saving her career, and between what she's always thought she wanted and the man she's come to love.

30 review for A Mosaic of Wings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    This cover grabbed my attention. It is so lovely. Nora is a strong willed young woman having just graduated from college using up all the funds her deceased father left her. She lives with her mother and step father. Nora loves her mother dearly yet wants to pursue her study of entomology by being a part of a field study in India. The imagery of India was simply spectacular. I cannot say enough praise about how beautifully the author penned the scenery. While in India, Nora runs into familiar stru This cover grabbed my attention. It is so lovely. Nora is a strong willed young woman having just graduated from college using up all the funds her deceased father left her. She lives with her mother and step father. Nora loves her mother dearly yet wants to pursue her study of entomology by being a part of a field study in India. The imagery of India was simply spectacular. I cannot say enough praise about how beautifully the author penned the scenery. While in India, Nora runs into familiar struggles for the time because she is a female. I got frustrated with Nora at times for making decisions which caused her to further lose esteem with some of her male colleagues. At the same time, she completely won my heart with her friendship of a young girl and a mother who lost her son to disease. Overall, this was an enjoyable novel and I look forward to reading others by this debut author. My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    With A Mosaic of Wings, Kimberly Duffy proves herself to be an author to watch. I enjoyed the book overall, and was really impressed with the insect and India scenery aspects of it. The Author's Note tells us that she lived in India for a while, and that personal experience with the country really paid off. If you feel like traveling to India, this book will definitely take you there! The descriptions are spell-binding, and I adore being immersed in a vibrant storyworld. For a while, I really did With A Mosaic of Wings, Kimberly Duffy proves herself to be an author to watch. I enjoyed the book overall, and was really impressed with the insect and India scenery aspects of it. The Author's Note tells us that she lived in India for a while, and that personal experience with the country really paid off. If you feel like traveling to India, this book will definitely take you there! The descriptions are spell-binding, and I adore being immersed in a vibrant storyworld. For a while, I really didn't like Nora. But I reminded myself the author was setting her up for a lot of character development. From the beginning of the book, she had a LOT of room to grow, so I was interested to see how that would happen. Sometimes I wondered if it would! At some point, Owen points out that she wears a mask. I knew that, and was eager to see behind it. She is a very nonconventional heroine who made several choices that made me cringe (see above, regarding room to grow). So at times, watching Nora was like watching a train wreck. I couldn't look away and just had to know what would happen next. She does learn some lessons by the end, but wow, is it ever a bumpy road. (Poor Owen.) It certainly held my attention! It's refreshing to read a different kind of heroine, even one I wouldn't have been friends with personally. Again, I loved the India scenery and senses. The insects gave me the heeby-jeebies, (the orb weaver spider!!) but it's an unusual passion for a heroine, and therefore, I appreciate it. I look forward to seeing what the author releases next!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "Bees are interesting creatures. . . . . Bumblebees will travel miles from their hives in order to do what they need to do. They don't stay close to home." Her father's tender words trickle through her memory, meaning . . . . . what, exactly? Do they mean that entomologist Nora Shipley should be forced to marry a man whom she hardly knows and who would certainly never indulge her love of scientific discovery? Or do they mean pursuing a coveted scholarship, thus providing a way to further 4.5 stars "Bees are interesting creatures. . . . . Bumblebees will travel miles from their hives in order to do what they need to do. They don't stay close to home." Her father's tender words trickle through her memory, meaning . . . . . what, exactly? Do they mean that entomologist Nora Shipley should be forced to marry a man whom she hardly knows and who would certainly never indulge her love of scientific discovery? Or do they mean pursuing a coveted scholarship, thus providing a way to further pursue her education, so that her now deceased father's beloved scientific journal can escape ruin? Perhaps those words mean that Nora must gather the necessary courage to travel half-way around the world to the land of India, accompanied by another student of entomology, whose future is also dependent on the coveted Cornell scholarship. Owen Epps; could there be more to her university nemesis than meets the eye? Layers; so many layers wrap themselves around this enchanting story that it becomes nearly impossible to unravel one, without dismantling all the others. Like the beautiful sari that Nora indulgently experiences for a brief moment, once unbound, this story exposes an authentic core that everyone longs for . . .unconditional love. Nora had it, Nora lost it. Nora gave it, Nora gained it . . . . for after all, according to Owen, "I think you just need someone to keep you from falling out of trees". What a courageous premiere into the world of historical fiction! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    Reasons why you Must Read Mosaic of Wings if you are an Inspy Historical Lover: NORA: she's strong and smart and competitive. Moreover, she dominates the page and the hero (don't worry, it's part of the reason he digs her). A woman in a man's world she is often anomalous to other heroines in inspy fiction and in a most welcome way that will appeal to readers of Siri Mitchell and Elizabeth Camden "...Prove herself again. Over and over in every part of her life, forever and ever. She'd have to prov Reasons why you Must Read Mosaic of Wings if you are an Inspy Historical Lover: NORA: she's strong and smart and competitive. Moreover, she dominates the page and the hero (don't worry, it's part of the reason he digs her). A woman in a man's world she is often anomalous to other heroines in inspy fiction and in a most welcome way that will appeal to readers of Siri Mitchell and Elizabeth Camden "...Prove herself again. Over and over in every part of her life, forever and ever. She'd have to prove herself." Nora's tenacity and the shell she builds around herself for her singular purpose may have been off putting without the nuance of humanity and vulnerability, not to mention her care for her science and her wonder and beguilement (mirroring the author's own ) of India. IMPECCABLE RESEARCH: not only of India during the Colonial era but the grand age of Victorian age scientific discovery and research. Carrying on a scientific journal, Nora's research and passion for her subjects--the beautiful butterflies and insects-- are a welcome reprieve from many familiar tropes in the genre and allow Nora to stand out as competitive, dedicated and honouring of her father's legacy. INDIA: this is an immersive read that delicately looks at a time of white occupation in India with reverence and grace, never once shying from the intricacies of social and cultural involvement and Western occupation. A novel for the senses, Mosaic of Wings is deft like a butterfly wing but also rich to the smell and taste of the rainbow that is Kodaikanal and its sights and markets. " Nora found herself facing a dizzying array of spices mounded in silver bowls on a red cloth. They dazzled the senses." I love that Nora's observation and studious skills for her entomological work guide the reader into what she experiences surrounding her in India which leads me to... THE VOICE: the pragmatic voice cleverly mirrors Nora and Owen's pursuits of discovery as if you are in the midst of a journal -writing scientist who is determined to give you the facts in their most crucial detail. As such, the book is compellingly readable, allowing you far enough into the psyche of its lead characters and their well developed world while never once hovering into sentimentality. Yet, the delicacy of the insects they study, the sumptuous and resonant colouring of the world of their research in India still stirs. Thus, If I use clinical here, I don't use it as a detriment rather as an intelligent reflection of the uber smart brains of these two starring characters... they are precise, they are observers, they are often more comfortable with research than with humans and I find the narrative is perfectly matched for that... it's an intentional voice and one that serves the story with a welcome sense of verisimilitude, both to the characters but also their setting and their era and their world. The romance is not the focus of the story and hallelujah for that! Because Nora's true love is her work, her father's legacy and her dedication to the pursuit of her passion. If you loved Mimi Matthew's A Modest Independence or Lynn Austin's Where We Belong, then this is the book for you! Cannot wait to read the next!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    Nora Shipley is a valedictorian of her class at Cornell University in 1895, but she is a female graduating with a degree in entomology which is unheard of in that day and time. All she yearns for is to follow in her deceased father's footsteps. Owen Epps has been her arch rival for the top spot her entire time in college. Now they are both off to India to see who can win the scholarship to pursue a Master's Degree. Duffy's writing flows so beautifully, and she brings to life not only India but th Nora Shipley is a valedictorian of her class at Cornell University in 1895, but she is a female graduating with a degree in entomology which is unheard of in that day and time. All she yearns for is to follow in her deceased father's footsteps. Owen Epps has been her arch rival for the top spot her entire time in college. Now they are both off to India to see who can win the scholarship to pursue a Master's Degree. Duffy's writing flows so beautifully, and she brings to life not only India but the beauty of its life, culture, insects and butterflies. Nora so embodies the advanced women of her times and is determined that nothing will stop her (including her demanding stepfather) in her pursuit of what she wants. But as she spends time in India she finds that people are more important than things. She makes decisions that may derail her pursuit of further education, but she knows deep in her heart that she has made the right choices. Owen was a swoon worthy hero who also realizes that choices can determine your path in life. This debut novel was absolutely intriguing, and I can't wait for more books from this author. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)

    . . I’m an indoor girl. I don’t like bugs. Any sort of bug. I never thought I’d enjoy a book about bugs so much. In all seriousness, A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy is about a lot more than bugs. A Mosaic of Wings is a completely captivating novel! This book had so much beauty. There’s beauty in the words, beauty in the setting, the characters. Everything is filled with beauty. Blended within the beauty, though, is sadness, inequality, assumptions and pain. There’s also hope. A lot of hope. And a l . . I’m an indoor girl. I don’t like bugs. Any sort of bug. I never thought I’d enjoy a book about bugs so much. In all seriousness, A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy is about a lot more than bugs. A Mosaic of Wings is a completely captivating novel! This book had so much beauty. There’s beauty in the words, beauty in the setting, the characters. Everything is filled with beauty. Blended within the beauty, though, is sadness, inequality, assumptions and pain. There’s also hope. A lot of hope. And a lovely, lovely romance – one to root for! I enjoyed every single beautiful word of this beautifully written story. I am so glad I read this book! It’s such a delight! Five Beautiful Stars! Do not miss this book! Kimberly Duffy is one to watch, and I can’t wait to see what adventure she takes us on next! A Mosaic of Wings is available now! Visit www.christianbook.com or www.bakerbookhouse.com to purchase your copy! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. A positive review was not required. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Take a bit of Ann of Green Gables, a little Pride and Prejudice, add a trip to India and revolve the entire story around insects (!), and you have Mosaic of Wings. What a unique debut by Kimberly Duffy. Something I must commend this author for is the way she incorporated Lydia and Swathi into the storyline. Both characters presented “forks in the road”, neither of which initially had an obvious right or wrong, forcing anomalous decisions. This added much depth to the story. The main characters, Take a bit of Ann of Green Gables, a little Pride and Prejudice, add a trip to India and revolve the entire story around insects (!), and you have Mosaic of Wings. What a unique debut by Kimberly Duffy. Something I must commend this author for is the way she incorporated Lydia and Swathi into the storyline. Both characters presented “forks in the road”, neither of which initially had an obvious right or wrong, forcing anomalous decisions. This added much depth to the story. The main characters, on the other hand, is where I felt the story could have improved. One was far too perfect and the other had the same flaws/weaknesses repeat over and over. This in turn made the romance feel a bit lopsided and unrealistic. Can’t say I’m a fan of insects, but I may look at them a little different after reading this story. My overall feel for the book is 3.5.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    A Mosaic of Wings is a stunning, heartfelt debut, rich with intelligence and historical and cultural detail. Nora Shipley, entomologist, is a deliciously unconventional heroine: smart, determined, and prickly, she is a woman unafraid to embrace life outside the strict lines that defined acceptable Victorian womanhood. Its easy to classify Nora as somewhat unlikeable when you first meet her as she is single-minded in her goals to the point of disregarding the impact of her actions and their poten A Mosaic of Wings is a stunning, heartfelt debut, rich with intelligence and historical and cultural detail. Nora Shipley, entomologist, is a deliciously unconventional heroine: smart, determined, and prickly, she is a woman unafraid to embrace life outside the strict lines that defined acceptable Victorian womanhood. Its easy to classify Nora as somewhat unlikeable when you first meet her as she is single-minded in her goals to the point of disregarding the impact of her actions and their potential consequences on others. But her resolve masks a great deal of pain and personal insecurity which leads her to overcompensate – a quality that, if I’m being honest – and if others readers dare to join me – is wholly relatable and personally challenging. Nora is a woman so desperate to avoid being strait-laced by convention that despite her formidable intellect, she refuses to see the possibility of a future as or more fulfilling than that which she always envisioned for herself. The gift of this novel – and the grace of faith in a God higher than ourselves – is in how despite fear, uncertainty, and pure human stubbornness, Nora’s future unfolds and takes shape with the grace and unexpected beauty of one of the butterflies she so loves to study. I adored the relationship between Nora and her longtime academic rival, Owen. I could not help but be reminded of another pair of academic rivals turned lovers, Anne and Gilbert. Although here, the friction and banter between the two has a spark and frisson that lends this would-be romance a delicious, unforgettable spark. I love a hero who believes in the heroine and her future even more than she can yet fathom. A man who appreciates and believes in Nora and isn’t threatened by her intelligence is an attractive hero indeed. Traveling to India allows Nora the opportunity to shed the mask of self-preservation and social expectation that she was arguably not even aware she wore. Shedding the burden of convention and expectation is not without fear, but I loved watching Nora blossom as she began to see herself through Owen’s eyes – giving her the faith to see a future not yet fully conceived. Duffy’s passion for India and her people are clear from the text, as is her experience interacting with the culture (albeit here through a historical lens). It is all too easy in an inspirational novel of this nature for the Christian point-of-view to be presented as that which “trumps” all others – but as Nora learns here, walking out her faith on foreign shores requires nuance, compassion, and has sacrificial consequences she must decide if she is willing to accept. Her faith provides her with a bedrock of truth, but walking it out in a land and a culture wholly unfamiliar, shaded in greys instead of black and white choices, brings Nora to a leap of faith that allows her to embrace a future beyond her imagination. A Mosaic of Wings is a gorgeously rendered novel with a deliciously smart heroine and a swoonworthy hero. I love a story that digs deep, meets me where I’m at, and through the lens of the narrative challenges my own viewpoint and grows my faith. I didn’t expect this novel to impact me as it did, but I’m forever grateful. This is a story that has the potential to linger in the heart long after the final pages.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    A Mosaic of Wings is a stunning debut for Author Kimberly Duffy. She takes us into the fascinating world of exotic insects and the beginnings of women making their mark into the scientific world of men. Her descriptive words put you right into a small village in India with its vivid sights and smells. “The trees shaded them, casting shadows over the packed dirt and blanketing everything in a hush that whispered ancient stories. Overripe fruit scented the air with spicy incense, and Nora clasped A Mosaic of Wings is a stunning debut for Author Kimberly Duffy. She takes us into the fascinating world of exotic insects and the beginnings of women making their mark into the scientific world of men. Her descriptive words put you right into a small village in India with its vivid sights and smells. “The trees shaded them, casting shadows over the packed dirt and blanketing everything in a hush that whispered ancient stories. Overripe fruit scented the air with spicy incense, and Nora clasped her hands in her lap, compelled to prayer.” She paints a realistic picture of a young woman seeking equality and pursuing her dream. In 1885 Ithaca, New York, Nora Shipley is one of a few women to graduate from Cornell University. Her deceased professor father helped instill in her a love of entomology. She wants to carry on his legacy and obtain her Masters Degree but needs to compete for a scholarship. Owen Epps could be a rival or an ally. Owen is a complex character who grows on you as the author reveals, layer by layer, his motivations and his growth as he realizes what he actually wants from life. Things get more complicated when they join a research team in India. Known for speaking her mind, Nora will need to navigate a fine line when her Christian morals bid her to act on behalf of one who is trapped in the pagan practices of a foreign land. “India, and everything that happened there, spoke to her in whispers that caressed her memories, wrapping everything in the exotic perfume and sultry, cicada-song nights.” Ms. Duffy weaves a complex story into a beautiful tapestry and shows us that God can turn the impossible into the possible. This is an author to keep an eye on. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    A Mosaic of Wings is the debut novel of Kimberly Duffy, and I just felt it calling me... ok ok, the stunning cover and synopsis might have caused the calling, and I’m really glad I got to read it as it didn’t disappoint! In fact, with a debut like this I feel quite sure Kimberly Duffy will soon be counted amongst the names of the most popular Christian fiction authors. So, in short: I loved it! Nora doesn’t have it easy: being a woman in the scientific field of entomology (insects) is quite unhe A Mosaic of Wings is the debut novel of Kimberly Duffy, and I just felt it calling me... ok ok, the stunning cover and synopsis might have caused the calling, and I’m really glad I got to read it as it didn’t disappoint! In fact, with a debut like this I feel quite sure Kimberly Duffy will soon be counted amongst the names of the most popular Christian fiction authors. So, in short: I loved it! Nora doesn’t have it easy: being a woman in the scientific field of entomology (insects) is quite unheard of. She has used the money her father left her to pursue an education, but the money is gone now, and she really wants to get a masters degree and fulfill the dream her father has for her: running a scientific paper. But the only way to do this is to get a scholarship, but there is another contender, Owen, and joining his trip to India to hopefully discover a new species might be the only way she can get the advantage... but to do that she needs to prove herself again and again to the scientists who only see her as a woman... I love how sure Nora was of her own worth, that can’t have been easy at the time, and I can’t help but love her father who imprinted this in her. Nora is head strong, stubborn, quick to speak and act, loving, intelligent and above all: enthousiastic about everything! Her love for nature jumps from the page and her excitement for new discoveries is catching! And yes, sometimes it gets her into trouble too, very cringeworthy trouble lol! And Owen, a golden boy who seems to get everything he wants in life with no effort, but not all is as it seems... I love their budding friendship and how he takes her seriously as a scientist but also tries to get her to open up and shed her mask. They both have their past and their ideas for the future, and they were both well rounded characters. Also, I love it how Nora keeps telling everyone she dislikes adventures, often right in the middle of an adventure, and no one believes her for even a second! The side characters are also very noteworthy! I think everyone who reads this book will love Sita instantly, the niece of the cook, who makes art out of anything she can find. The friendship between Nora and Sita is very sweet. What I didn’t expect to love was India but I did! Sure, another country is always fun to read about, but in this book you get emerged in the culture, the food, nature and people! And it was awesome and I really wish I could taste some of those foods. It really felt I was traveling across the world with Nora. The ending kept me guessing and was a little bittersweet but also everything I wanted. There is a lot of emotional depth and I wish I could say more but that would be spoilery. All in all, I can really recommend A Mosaic of Wings, I really loved it! I received an e-copy from Bethany House through Netgalley for which I am really grateful but it hasn’t influenced my opinions.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Monzon

    What a lovely debut! Duffy has such a way of penning words that I’m already looking forward to her next release. The detailed research and historical nuances reminded me of Elisabeth Camden works. I LOVED the international setting and the rich atmosphere that came to life in the page. The cultural and religions differences between the cultures was handled with care and respect that anyone could see the author’s heart in the matter. The romance was sweet and Owen a gem! The story was bookended wi What a lovely debut! Duffy has such a way of penning words that I’m already looking forward to her next release. The detailed research and historical nuances reminded me of Elisabeth Camden works. I LOVED the international setting and the rich atmosphere that came to life in the page. The cultural and religions differences between the cultures was handled with care and respect that anyone could see the author’s heart in the matter. The romance was sweet and Owen a gem! The story was bookended with Anne and Gilbert flavor that made me want to relive my childhood Blythe crush. My only qualm is that I wanted MORE of Nora and Gilbert, but, alas, this book isn’t technically a romance so that’s my own swoon-loving heart pitter pattering. A book for the keeper shelf!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Grace Hitchcock

    What a beautiful story! I absolutely loved the development of the hero and heroine’s relationship that reminds one of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe. With a magical tone, this debut author weaves a rich tale that will have her readers lost in the beauty of India and the wonders of entomology. This is a MUST read book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Oh my lanta, this book was so good. This is Mrs. Duffy's debut novel, but I can promise you that once you start reading, you will think she has years of experience under her belt. Her writing style was so beautiful and it pulled you right into the story. I wasn't sure how much I would like this book due to Nora being a bug scientist, but I loved this story so much. Though I do have to admit that this bug-hating girl shuddered a time or two. Nora was such an exciting protagonist to follow. I don' Oh my lanta, this book was so good. This is Mrs. Duffy's debut novel, but I can promise you that once you start reading, you will think she has years of experience under her belt. Her writing style was so beautiful and it pulled you right into the story. I wasn't sure how much I would like this book due to Nora being a bug scientist, but I loved this story so much. Though I do have to admit that this bug-hating girl shuddered a time or two. Nora was such an exciting protagonist to follow. I don't think any other personality would have fit this story as Nora's did. Her spirit and will not to give up really made her be this amazing protagonist that you can't help but root for on the sidelines as you travel with her from New York to India. However, as much as I loved Nora, Owen really stole the show from me. From the beginning, I knew that I was going to LOVE him. He was a cinnamon roll that loved with everything in him and honestly he really made this book perfect. His and Nora's chemistry was adorable and I knew that he held a candle for her from the beginning and I loved watching Nora go from hate to love him. If y'all haven't figured out already, I am a sucker for hate to love romances so that fact that this book had one had me in love. The plot of this book held my interest from the beginning. Thought it was kinda slow, it immediately sped up and I was invested. This was a turn of the decade book, so though Nora's motives at times felt unhistoric, it was actually rather realistic only because she was pushing to make way for the world that we have today in science. She represented one of the first women who dared to enter the men's world and make something for herself. Honestly, I loved it a lot. It wasn't pushy feminism, but rather Nora just wanted to study insects like her father had raised her. It was rather sweet. Overall I really, really enjoyed this novel and I cannot wait to read what Mrs. Duffy has for us next!! *FTC: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Captivating! Random thoughts: 1. I've read few Christian Fiction books this year where some part was set in India. But they were all set in North India. Finally, I am elated to find one set in my home state of Tamilnadu. Though I have visited Kodaikanal numerous times, it was fun 'visiting' Kodaikanal in 1885. One major difference I found about present day Kodai and the one a century ago, is the presence of more British & Americans than natives. I guess that changed after 1947 since it is not the Captivating! Random thoughts: 1. I've read few Christian Fiction books this year where some part was set in India. But they were all set in North India. Finally, I am elated to find one set in my home state of Tamilnadu. Though I have visited Kodaikanal numerous times, it was fun 'visiting' Kodaikanal in 1885. One major difference I found about present day Kodai and the one a century ago, is the presence of more British & Americans than natives. I guess that changed after 1947 since it is not the case now. 2. The first Ithaca part especially Nora's interest in entomology and the New York setting felt like something out of an Elizabeth Camden novel. 3. I was gratified with parts describing the local food (idli, dosai, sambhar), Tamil dialogues, and tropical fruits. 4. I was surprised to read about 'Coakers Walk' in 1885. Found that it was constructed in 1872. I guess I should not have been surprised with the name sounding British. 5. Of all the sciences, Biology is my favorite. So glad to read about all the entomology parts. (view spoiler)[It is a nice touch matching the character's name with a butterfly. Also, it is fascinating to read about the Prioneris sita, which was discovered in 1865. (hide spoiler)] 6. I don't remember much about the Devadasi system - may have seen it portrayed in Tamil movies. So it was insightful to read about it now. After researching more, it is distressing to know that though it had been outlawed in 1988, this practice is still active illegally.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shantelle

    A Mosaic of Wings is another enjoyable, Christian historical romance novel. And it definitely had it's unique aspects that set it apart. I found myself transported to another era and culture ... which is always a delight. Set in the late 1800s, this story focuses on Nora Shipley, a young woman going to college for entomology and trying to find her purpose in life. It explores father/daughter relationships, and we walk alongside Nora in grief, bitterness, confusion, hurt ... and hope. Friendship, A Mosaic of Wings is another enjoyable, Christian historical romance novel. And it definitely had it's unique aspects that set it apart. I found myself transported to another era and culture ... which is always a delight. Set in the late 1800s, this story focuses on Nora Shipley, a young woman going to college for entomology and trying to find her purpose in life. It explores father/daughter relationships, and we walk alongside Nora in grief, bitterness, confusion, hurt ... and hope. Friendship, faith, conviction, and love blossom on an exciting trip to India. I really liked getting to know these characters. Nora was a little harsh and headstrong at times, but there were also moments when we saw her heart softened and heard her apologies. The complexities of some of the relationships were intriguing and thought-provoking. I loved the depth and the hard decisions made in India - and the ultimate beauty coming from destruction and chaos. There were some aspects of the book that got a little edgy in my opinion. Feminism was pushed a bit. Some sinful behaviors and attitudes seemed to go unchecked. But overall it was a good read. A touching historical fiction. I enjoyed learning more about butterflies and insects, journeying through Indian forests, and watching Nora grow. I received a complimentary copy of A Mosaic of Wings from Bethany House Publishers. This review is honest and my own. 

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fiction Aficionado

    To open the pages of this novel is to enter another world—a world of insects and butterflies, of sticky heat, rich new aromas, and confronting customs, and of a passionate young female scientist struggling to prove herself in a male-dominated field. It was obvious the author has not only done her research, but experienced India for herself (albeit in more modern times!), and from that aspect, it truly was a pleasure to read this novel and immerse myself in another time and place. When it came to To open the pages of this novel is to enter another world—a world of insects and butterflies, of sticky heat, rich new aromas, and confronting customs, and of a passionate young female scientist struggling to prove herself in a male-dominated field. It was obvious the author has not only done her research, but experienced India for herself (albeit in more modern times!), and from that aspect, it truly was a pleasure to read this novel and immerse myself in another time and place. When it came to the heroine, however, I found myself frustrated, more often than not, by the way she conducted herself, which put a dampener on my reading experience. I could sympathise with her on the loss of her father and her need to repeatedly prove herself in a field dominated by men, but she didn’t do herself any favours. She made it more than clear that Lucius (her step-father) could never take the place of her father. And no, he may not have won any step-father of the year awards, but there was no graciousness in her behaviour toward him either. And while she may have been a very capable entomologist, her determination to prove herself in India often led her to make choices that only reinforced the idea that women were a liability in the field rather than a help. At the very least, I would have like to have seen her mature in these aspects by the end of the novel, but I didn’t see any evidence of that in the story. The hero, on the other hand, I grew quite fond of. It may have helped that there was a bit of a Gilbert Blythe vibe about him! To his credit, he stood by Nora, even when she got into messes of her own making, but while I’m all for a hero who loves unconditionally and supports the heroine in achieving her dreams, I couldn’t help feeling that Nora would have benefitted even more from someone who could take her in hand, perhaps even stand up to her for her own good, when necessary. Despite not having connected with this heroine as much as I would have liked, there was much to enjoy about this story, and I’m keen to see what’s next from this author. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Who would have thought a book about insects could be so interesting. This is a debut novel for the author. Is well written and the descriptions given help you to imagine what the characters are seeing and experiencing. Nora is a very flawed character. She does some cringe worthy things at times. Her decisions are questionable. There’s much room for growth. Owen is quite the main hero character. He’s patient, protective and positive. I am sure bring a female in 1885 was hard and going to college Who would have thought a book about insects could be so interesting. This is a debut novel for the author. Is well written and the descriptions given help you to imagine what the characters are seeing and experiencing. Nora is a very flawed character. She does some cringe worthy things at times. Her decisions are questionable. There’s much room for growth. Owen is quite the main hero character. He’s patient, protective and positive. I am sure bring a female in 1885 was hard and going to college to study insects was far from the norm. So I imagine Nora has to have the attitude she has. Her step father is not a nice man. And it seems Nora will not stop comparing him to her late father. Guilty ears away at Nora over his death. The star of the book is Sita. I really hope e we learn more about her in the future books. A beautiful young girl in India. Honestly, I have a better respect for insects now. It was such a unique subject. And I was very happy to ’travel’ to India. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All views stated here are my own. A favorite wore from the book “There’s a Peace here I’ve never felt before. It feels like a sanctuary hidden deep in the country of a thousand idols. A place where God’s finger prints point to His plan.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denise Hershberger

    really enjoyed Nora in this book. Sometimes historical female characters are a little boring, but not Nora! I loved that she was a woman in a "man's field" and that she was willing to speak her mind, work harder than her male peers, and always do what she felt was right. I have to admit her interest in "bugs" is not one that I share (except butterflies - which I LOVE) but the book was so well researched and written that I did find myself more intrigued with the study of insects than I expected t really enjoyed Nora in this book. Sometimes historical female characters are a little boring, but not Nora! I loved that she was a woman in a "man's field" and that she was willing to speak her mind, work harder than her male peers, and always do what she felt was right. I have to admit her interest in "bugs" is not one that I share (except butterflies - which I LOVE) but the book was so well researched and written that I did find myself more intrigued with the study of insects than I expected to be. Though at one point I actually had to put the book down and shudder! I appreciated all of the facets to Nora's work. I fell in love with Owen in his first scene! I'll admit that I swooned long before Nora did, but I grew to really love him throughout the book. The best part about this book was the research. I love when a historical author really puts in the effort to make a book historically, culturally, and academically accurate. The effort on Duffy's part was not in vain. I was incredibly impressed. I was equally impressed that the inclusion of scientific terms and Indian language words enhanced the reading and never once distracted me. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and through NetGalley. This is my honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Edwards

    Despite the old adage, covers definitely either attract me to a book or send me the other direction. This one drew me in immediately and I eagerly read the back cover. I haven't read many books set in India, and the main character's struggle to choose between multiple good things sounded interesting, so I decided to take a chance on a debut author. I found a well-written novel with vivid characters facing unique challenges in an exotic setting, and an author from whom I cannot wait to read more. Despite the old adage, covers definitely either attract me to a book or send me the other direction. This one drew me in immediately and I eagerly read the back cover. I haven't read many books set in India, and the main character's struggle to choose between multiple good things sounded interesting, so I decided to take a chance on a debut author. I found a well-written novel with vivid characters facing unique challenges in an exotic setting, and an author from whom I cannot wait to read more. Nora and I have little in common besides our desire to have a say in the direction our lives take. I have those choices freely while she must fight for everything she wants. She is fascinated by insects; they send me running. She thinks a career is what will make her happy and I always knew I wanted to marry and have a family. But she is a fascinating character and I couldn’t help but relate to her struggles. One of the things that really stood out to me in this novel is how alike we really all are, despite what we perceive as the things that separate us. This is highlighted when Nora compares herself to others and misses the similarities. For example, she longs to break barriers erected to keep women in a certain place, but often cautions others that their dreams are too risky and should be based in current reality. This novel is not only populated with great characters, but the prose is beautiful, too. I could see the sights and hear the sounds; I wanted to taste the foods Nora was experiencing, too, even looking certain spices and recipes up online out of curiosity with the idea that I might try one or two. I feel as if I have gotten a taste of another culture through reading this book, and I’d like to know more. And through it all is a thread of hope, that we can be more than we are, that our futures are more than what society tells us it has to be. That there is a God above who loves each of His children, regardless of the country of their birth or the color of their skin, but also despite what we’ve done or what has been done to us. There is always hope as long as we draw breath. This is a beautiful novel of a life very different from our own, and yet not so different after all. It’s a universal tale of struggle and finding who we are, of deciding what is important to us rather than those around us. I highly recommend this story for those who have an interest in India and its history, and those who enjoy historical romance in a distinct setting with characters who will remain with the reader long after the last page is turned. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    3.5 Stars Dreams realized, love found, and lives changed halfway around the world in this debut from Kimberly Duffy. Nora Shipley is a bright young woman with an unconventional passion for entomology, instilled by her late father. She gets the opportunity to compete for a coveted scholarship by going to work out in the field in India alongside her biggest competition. Right away I was intrigued by the plot of this book and the unique premise. The book is very well researched and you can tell that 3.5 Stars Dreams realized, love found, and lives changed halfway around the world in this debut from Kimberly Duffy. Nora Shipley is a bright young woman with an unconventional passion for entomology, instilled by her late father. She gets the opportunity to compete for a coveted scholarship by going to work out in the field in India alongside her biggest competition. Right away I was intrigued by the plot of this book and the unique premise. The book is very well researched and you can tell that the author worked hard to bring Nora's world to life, even featuring real life entomologist and conservationist couple Joseph and Anna Comstock. This was a quick read, but at times frustrating as Nora found herself in one impossible situation after another, I personally never really connected with the main characters, and didn't agree with some of the ways that Nora responded to challenges. I loved Sita's shining helpful heart, as well as her quick thinking. This was a fascinating book that I ended up wanting to love, but ended up feeling mixed at the end. I enjoyed the details of entomology and how the specimens are preserved and studied, I think it really piqued my interest in a subject that I honestly hadn't thought much about before. There was also strong expressions of faith throughout, and I liked how Nora was challenged by her beliefs into growth. Owen is common sense, but also has an adventurous spirit, I loved his unwavering support for Nora throughout. A historical read that explores the challenges of a woman pursuing her passion for science in a man's world. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    A Mosaic of Wings is the beautiful story about a young woman who slowly finds that everything she ever wanted might not actually be what she wants. I felt that the first part—before Nora goes to India—was a little slow, and it took me a while to get into the story. The India section, however, was simply stunning! The vivid descriptions of people and places jumped off the page, I loved the way Nora truly blossomed, and I actually found myself caring about insects! The final section, back in Ithaca A Mosaic of Wings is the beautiful story about a young woman who slowly finds that everything she ever wanted might not actually be what she wants. I felt that the first part—before Nora goes to India—was a little slow, and it took me a while to get into the story. The India section, however, was simply stunning! The vivid descriptions of people and places jumped off the page, I loved the way Nora truly blossomed, and I actually found myself caring about insects! The final section, back in Ithaca, moved a little slower again (or maybe it's just that it lacked the vibrancy of the India section), but I enjoyed seeing how everything resolved. The romance aspect of this novel is a little understated (because the novel is more about Nora's journey than anything else), but it's so sweet, and I absolutely loved Owen and the way he cared for Nora. This is a wonderful debut novel, establishing Duffy as an author to watch! Disclosure of material connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Dean

    Beautiful cover and beautifully written book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author. Nora was smart, spunky and strong willed. Owen was a fellow college student, who she rivaled with for the past three years. They were both chosen to spend time in India to further their studies in Entomology and compete for a scholarship to get their masters. Nora thought she knew her purpose in life-to honor her late father, who she adored, by taking over his publicat Beautiful cover and beautifully written book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author. Nora was smart, spunky and strong willed. Owen was a fellow college student, who she rivaled with for the past three years. They were both chosen to spend time in India to further their studies in Entomology and compete for a scholarship to get their masters. Nora thought she knew her purpose in life-to honor her late father, who she adored, by taking over his publication, The Journal. Owen's father was not supportive of his desire for adventure and expected him to become a lawyer. They both needed that scholarship to fulfill their dreams. The trip to India was a learning experience for them both, in ways they didn't expect. The author did an amazing job at drawing me in with her descriptive imagery. I never thought I would have been so absorbed in a story about insects, but I was! That's what a well-written book does. **I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.**

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    I really enjoyed the debut novel by Kimberly Duffy. I will admit that it took me a bit to get hooked. I can’t really even explain why, but these kinds of gems are why I don’t give up on books! If you thought it a slow start...and quit...you will SO want to finish!! During these times...maybe it was just a mood thing, who knows. The explanation and setting of India was incredibly well done! It was like taking a trip and enjoying the wonderful differences in beauty and culture. The heart of the au I really enjoyed the debut novel by Kimberly Duffy. I will admit that it took me a bit to get hooked. I can’t really even explain why, but these kinds of gems are why I don’t give up on books! If you thought it a slow start...and quit...you will SO want to finish!! During these times...maybe it was just a mood thing, who knows. The explanation and setting of India was incredibly well done! It was like taking a trip and enjoying the wonderful differences in beauty and culture. The heart of the author really cane through during this part of the book. I was a tomboy growing up, and insects have always fascinated me...science not so much. This book does a great job bringing out the enjoyment of studying insects...and the beauty with which God has surrounded us. The characters are very well done. I really liked Nora. Her difficulties in decisions that affected her future were so realistic. She followed her conscience and made some decisions that adversely affected her. She wasn’t sorry , though, for doing the right thing. It was interesting to read about the culture in India as well. The book had a wonderful story and plot...and I really liked the characters. The writing was beautifully done. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janine Rosche

    A brilliant debut from a talented author! This read like a love letter to India, and I’ll think of it whenever I see a butterfly or hear a cicada. I loved the depth of characterization, especially with Nora. And the thought-provoking debate over clashing cultures and beliefs was tactfully handled. In short, I loved this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    Look out world, Kimberly Duffy is making her mark. What a beautifully penned debut novel! It completely took my breath away, and made me so fascinated with the world of bugs. Trust me when I say this is huge lol. But seriously, Duffy is someone to watch for, and I have already added her to my "must read" author list. Not only does she write incredible characters, but she writes settings that just jump off the pages to me. I felt like I was in India right alongside Nora and Owen. Experiencing the Look out world, Kimberly Duffy is making her mark. What a beautifully penned debut novel! It completely took my breath away, and made me so fascinated with the world of bugs. Trust me when I say this is huge lol. But seriously, Duffy is someone to watch for, and I have already added her to my "must read" author list. Not only does she write incredible characters, but she writes settings that just jump off the pages to me. I felt like I was in India right alongside Nora and Owen. Experiencing the weather, the insects, the excitement. Nora is not your average heroine in so many ways, but I really found myself enjoying her character. First of all, she likes bugs. Bugs! I know that may seem okay to some, but bugs just aren't my thing you know? But Nora? Well, she kind of makes me want to learn just a little bit about them. But what really drew me to her character was her passion. First, she had passion for her family. I can easily connect with that, and understood her desire to put her family first. But then she had passion for her job, her learning. It didn't matter to her that she was a woman in a "man's" world. She just wanted to learn as much as she could to be able to contribute to the world. I found this to be so refreshing. Duffy's personalized experience with India really showed in her ability to stay true to the culture, the food, the experience. Again, I felt like I was IN India! And for the record, I didn't want to leave. Although there is some friendship to romance here, I really feel that the location and the growth of Nora's character are what ultimately kept me turning the pages. I think historical fiction readers will enjoy Duffy's debut novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janyre Tromp

    What a gorgeous debut. The narrative descriptions are lush and full. I feel like I went back to India for a visit with her well-drawn characters. In addition, I don't know how Duffy makes the study of insects appealing, but she does. I never once felt overwhelmed by the science, but I actually learned more than a few things. This is a historical novel that is well worth the read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    If you're a fan of Elizabeth Camden's books, give this one a try! Like Camden's historical novels, it features a strong heroine of an uncommon profession making her way in a man's world. Between the sexism she faces and a challenging home life, Nora could be a bit abrasive at times, particularly in defending herself as a female scientist, but her ability to stand up to opposition gives her the ability to do what's right when others would look away and do nothing. Owen's just a darling, wanting t If you're a fan of Elizabeth Camden's books, give this one a try! Like Camden's historical novels, it features a strong heroine of an uncommon profession making her way in a man's world. Between the sexism she faces and a challenging home life, Nora could be a bit abrasive at times, particularly in defending herself as a female scientist, but her ability to stand up to opposition gives her the ability to do what's right when others would look away and do nothing. Owen's just a darling, wanting to push her to be the best she can be, both as a scientist and a human with a beating heart. While etymology isn't my favorite subset of biology (botany is more my thing), I've spent my share of hours chasing lepidoptera, albeit with a camera, not a kill jar. Besides which, my mother has always been quite fascinated with insects, so some knowledge and appreciation has rubbed off. The descriptions of the insect life were well-written, and I was completely immersed in the heady Indian setting--from the sounds of the jungle to the aromas of the the food to the heat and humidity and the unpleasantly ripe bodies of Nora's masculine colleagues. The descriptions of the food left me with cravings for cardamom. I'll gladly read another novel by this author! Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Libby May

    THE PLOT I did like the plot. I like the way that it was split into three sections, without huge time jumps between each. I didn't get lost along the way. I also really appreciated the ending of each section, it felt like that section was complete and we were ready for the next part of the story. The pacing of the story, based on the genre it was, which was historical fiction, was well done. It wasn't too slow, and not too fast. I got just enough details without getting bored. The descriptive ski THE PLOT I did like the plot. I like the way that it was split into three sections, without huge time jumps between each. I didn't get lost along the way. I also really appreciated the ending of each section, it felt like that section was complete and we were ready for the next part of the story. The pacing of the story, based on the genre it was, which was historical fiction, was well done. It wasn't too slow, and not too fast. I got just enough details without getting bored. The descriptive skills of the author were really a pleasure to read and I felt like I got to experience India where the scientists were as best as could possibly have been done! The atmosphere, characters engaging with each other, and everything that happened was exciting and even kept my eyes open even though I sometimes feel like I'm going to fall asleep while I'm reading. XD THE CHARACTERS Nora Shipley was a good main character. The strength of her character... I almost felt uncomfortable reading her story because she was such a good description of me, despite her backstory. Her courage and weaknesses and her determination was something that struck me so close I was almost scared to keep reading. But it was all in good and I did keep reading. Her story was well closed up at the end. I admired her determination. The one thing I will say about her... The way she handled the situation with Sita was not right, and I feel like she could have gone about it another way. I don't believe that the way she did it was the only way. And I don't feel like this was realistic or real. I absolutely agree that Nora had to do something, but I also believe that the author had all the power at the edge of her fingertips and she could have woven just a bit more into it. That's just my personal opinion. Owen Epps was a splendid character. Well rounded and admirable. What I am going to say that you didn't really draw the conclusion that Nora had about Owen at the beginning, which gave her character a bit of weakness. But they both grew and that was much better so that didn't really matter. Sita was a sweetheart and I loved that she broke the stereotypical "quiet-terrified-meek-rescue girl" of any general YA or adult fiction involving this sort of thing. She was spunky, had her faith, and a strength that wasn't unrealistic and yet amazing. I appreciated her part in the story for sure. Lucius was the worst. Nora's mother was such a weak sauce. I literally couldn't stand her much more than Lucius himself. OVERALL This story was very good and I recommend it for anybody 16 and older. It's clean in regards to language. There's no sexual content, but there are several kisses, and of course since there is the romantic aspect of the book, everything that comes with romance. That is: liking someone, admiring their qualities, holding hands, nearness, and intimate but not inappropriate touches. (it's a historical fiction y'all. They have a reputation to keep). I will mention though, that there was a character that had a child out of wedlock and another character was to be submitted to heathen constitutional practices. There are no details or descriptions of glances of any scenes, as they don't actually happen. There is no witchcraft in the story, but there is mention of idol worship and Indian gods, as well as a minor amount of superstition. This story is not graphic, but it doesn't shrink from mentioning blood during minor injuries; the death of Nora's father is also described, but in no way is it graphic or disturbing. Also, there's a fair amount of vomiting. XD Basically, just keep that in mind if you're squeamish. FOUR STAR RATING

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    It was fun to learn the authors eight-year-old daughter Grainne requested she write a book about a girl entomologist. First of all, no one has done a book about it and second, Grainne loves bugs. Her mother doesn’t share that love. The author says, “I love how much my daughter loves creation”… “Grainne makes me see the world in a different way.. She continues, “….I loved the thought of writing about one of the nineteenth-century female scientists who made an impact on history.” I liked that the m It was fun to learn the authors eight-year-old daughter Grainne requested she write a book about a girl entomologist. First of all, no one has done a book about it and second, Grainne loves bugs. Her mother doesn’t share that love. The author says, “I love how much my daughter loves creation”… “Grainne makes me see the world in a different way.. She continues, “….I loved the thought of writing about one of the nineteenth-century female scientists who made an impact on history.” I liked that the main female character is headstrong, opinionated, and is working hard to be taken seriously in a male dominated world. She didn’t mind the thought of children but there was so much more she could do with her life, but in 1885 things were limited. In Ithaca, New York. Nora Shipley lives, breathes and is absorbed in the world of insects. She has graduated Cornell University as Valedictorian. She’s determined to walk in her father’s footsteps. The thing is the board is looking to see who’s serious about going the extra mile to win the scholarship. A professor offers an opportunity to go to Kodaikanal, India to help study butterflies. Lots of tough choices must be made. The author tells readers that this story is loosely based on Anna Comstock, who, with her husband, John, worked at Cornell University….”Anna illustrated all of her husband’s books, she also wrote and illustrated her own. She was instrumental in the nature study movement and became Cornell University’s first female professor.” I learned so much in this fascinating novel. I was clueless about how they went about studying insects back then. I liked how the author had Nora and Owen give us a peek at the world through their eyes as they search the forests for unique butterflies. I enjoyed the two main characters, especially Owen who went above and beyond to encourage Nora in her natural talents and in her passion for the work she did. I really enjoyed going to India too. The author said that she lived in India. It’s her favorite place on the planet and it shows in her writings. This is an intriguing story that’s a fun escape and one that would work great for a book club pick. This is the first novel by this author who has two more novels about female scientists with a release date of 2021. This is an author to watch. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennia

    Nora Shipley is an entomology student in the 1880s, a time when it was rare enough for a woman to pursue an advanced degree, let alone one in a scientific field. Her need to fight tooth and nail to make a name for herself is evident from the first pages, with fellow students, professors, and respected names in the field all doubting her abilities simply due to her being a woman. Apart from her unwavering dedication to the study of insects, Nora has always chosen the path of what is right, even w Nora Shipley is an entomology student in the 1880s, a time when it was rare enough for a woman to pursue an advanced degree, let alone one in a scientific field. Her need to fight tooth and nail to make a name for herself is evident from the first pages, with fellow students, professors, and respected names in the field all doubting her abilities simply due to her being a woman. Apart from her unwavering dedication to the study of insects, Nora has always chosen the path of what is right, even when it isn’t easy. Social mores and conventions aren’t enough to hold her back when her moral compass is in opposition with these flawed perspectives. From the beginning, this puts her at odds with others, making her stand out even more. Her mother and stepfather find this especially problematic and attempt to push her into a financially and socially acceptable marriage. Torn between love and loyalty to her family and her own chance at a happy future, Nora embarks on a field expedition to India where she hopes to prove her worth to not only herself, but to those who would have her abandon her academic dreams. Upon arriving in India, Nora is immediately faced with further obstacles. Other members of the expedition, with the exception of her classmate Owen, are openly distressed to have her on the team. For the sake of keeping the peace, she acquiesces to their demands she be relegated to typically feminine tasks, such as drawing the insects they bring back from a day in the wild. Where the men saunter, she is forced to delicately tiptoe. Frustrated and tired of not being taken seriously, Nora’s focus shifts after she meets one of the cook’s nieces, a young girl named Sita. While her own situation is less than ideal, she realizes how little she knows of the world and that despite her circumstances, she still has a life of some privilege. This epiphany extends to her understanding of Owen, who before has been more of a scholarly rival than a peer. Their burgeoning romance serves as a subtle layer to the overall story without overshadowing the more thought-provoking plot points. As the story concludes, we see Nora viewing the world around her with a heightened sense of clarity. Through well nuanced characters that embody the realistic multifaceted aspect of humanity, the story is deeply engaging without ever feeling trite or heavy-handed. Duffy explores darker parts of history in a way that feels honest yet respectful. There were moments when I had to stop and allow myself time to take in some of the events, but I never felt as if they were included for shock value. Instead, they came across as being natural to the story, horrific yet inevitable given the circumstances. 4.5 stars with a special thanks to Bethany House for the complimentary copy. This did not impact my review.

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