Book review on “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter”

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I finished 60 books last year, and I will be posting another blog soon about ten books you should read. Meanwhile, enjoy this book review about a book I finished recently
We’ve all heard of monsters, haven’t we? Frankenstein, Vampires, Dracula, werewolves and more. But have you heard of female monsters? Theodora Goss brings these she-monsters to life through her book. The book follows Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein on their adventures to uncover truths about their fathers who left their lives upside down turning them into what the world calls monsters. They embark on a mission to uncover the experiments being done on women in an organisation which is known as Société des Alchimistes. An organisation in which all their dads were a part of.

The book is written by Theodora Goss. It was originally published June 20 2017. Here is the summary of the book which is on the back of the book.
“Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.”

As the summary says, the book follows Mary Jekyll, the daughter of Dr Jekyll. However, the perspective of the book is everchanging as it includes small dialogues that are not entirely part of the book but still help us connect to the characters as themselves. The book is written by Catherine Moreau who is one of the “Monsters”. The perspective of the book is of all the females telling their stories to help Catherine write a novel about their adventures and problems. Occasionally the narrative is interrupted by the characters arguing over the points made or justifying their own actions and also comment on the writing. This is a unique way to gives us a window to the characters minds and lives. This gives reading the novel a fresh outlook and helps us think about the issues with a clear mind.

In the time that the story is set in also aids in the uniqueness of the story, during that time women were supposed to wear modest clothing and not engage in any activities that might be considered disrespectful. However, in this book, all of the ladies in one way or another go against this belief, for example, they investigate a murder and go to places which are not suitable for young ladies. This perspective relates to modern time, where similarly women and girls are ready to go against common societal rules to get their full potential.

I loved this book because it tied so many modern aspects, stories and ideas together to give us something unique and new. I would recommend this book to late teens who are looking for a unique perspective on monster stories. This book taught me that just because something is named a “monster”, they don’t have to be one, but most importantly it showed me that your gender doesn’t matter in being kind, nice and successful. I think that’s what girls everywhere should learn.

“A lady might feel fear, but she must not give in to it, or so her governess had taught her.”

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