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219 pages, ebook
First published June 25, 2019
They were here all along: spotting comets, naming stars, pointing telescopes at the sky alongside their fathers and brothers and sons. And still the men they worked with scorned them.
“...I realized I needed to stop bracing myself for the stuff I mentioned above, because, amazingly, it kept not coming. And there's a lesson for histfic authors: you don't have to pretend that historical times weren't a cesspool of misogyny, homophobia and racism, but it's entirely possible to write a book for the people who have historically been hurt and marginalized that focuses on the good stuff instead of on the awful. This book is proof of that.”
“We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit.”
“it was as though someone had taken the case off the universe, and let the reader peer at the naked machinery that powered the stars.”
“they don’t let you have anything whole, you know. if you don’t follow the pattern. you have to find your happiness in bits and pieces instead. but it can still add up to something beautiful.”and gosh, the plot is actually good -- have i ever said that about a historical romance?
“moonlight silvered the long line of lucy’s back as she sank to her knees—not submissively, as one conquered, but as a queen kneels at a coronation.”so yes, i absolutely loved this. great characterizations, a beautiful romance realistic for its time period, and a compelling plot about science with a very decidedly feminist angle.
“So I started thinking: maybe being an artist is also really about the work. It’s not about standing up and trumpeting one’s own genius to a throng of adoring inferiors, agog with admiration. Maybe an artist is simply one who does an artist’s work, over and over. A process, not a paragon.”
"Women’s ideas are treated as though they sprung from nowhere, to be claimed by the first man who comes along. Every generation had women stand up and ask to be counted—and every generation of brilliant, insightful, educated men has raised a hand and wiped those women’s names from the greater historical record."
She had not known until he asked the question how deep ran her horror of putting herself once more under a man’s legal, financial, and emotional control.
"She had depended far too much on the insolubility of her marriage license, it seemed. Not on her own merits at all.
Loving another woman didn’t bring any such luxuries [...] You could never sit back and let the official pieces of paper do the work for you, oh no: you had to choose the other person over and over again, every time. What’s worse, you had to trust them to choose you. It was horribly frightening—"
“We are not simply minds, trained like lamps on the world around us, producing light but taking nothing in: we are bodies, and hearts, and hopes, and dreams. We are men, and we are women. We are poetry and prose in equal measure. We are earth and clay, but we are all – no matter our shape – lit with a spark of something divine.”
“The point of fashion is not for gentlemen: they call it trivial because they cannot bear the thought of women having a whole silent language between themselves.”
“It was like every touch of Lucy's hand was a silken thread, painting a sunsrise one skein of warm light at a time.”
“She'd believed she could bear a widow's loneliness more peacefully than the misery of a bad marriage. But that was like choosing whether hemlock or belladonna was the better poison. In the end, they both sapped the life from you.”
“Then Aunt Kelmarsh grumbled something about the food, and Catherine laughed gently, and Lucy found herself back on earth. But a different earth than the one she'd walked just a few hours before. A wider earth, with more space to expand and grow into the best version of herself. She couldn't wait to begin.”
“Why cast about for artful phrases when there were much better things to do with one’s mouth?”
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