Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Tundra Books
Recommended Age: 5+
Genres & Themes: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Biography, Writing, Dreams, Historical
I had no idea.
Well first I’ve never actually read the classic Frankenstein. Like pretty much everyone else, I know what it’s about and confuse Frankenstein the monster with the doctor, but I’ve never had to read it for school (I went to a francophone high school) and I would much rather read a romantic classic than a scary one.
But this was fascinating. Learning about the author actually made me more interested in her novel. Not just because I feel a connection to Mary so I’ll hopefully connect to her book as well, but also because the story of how she came to write her book is incredible and so the book itself must be too. I simply cannot believe how ‘‘meant to be’’ it was.
Doesn’t everything sound more dramatic, important and like FATE when it happens in a dream? The author of Twilight came up with the idea of sparkling vampires in a dream and look at the phenomenon it engendered. The way I see it, you dream because your subconscious is speaking to you, but also because you are meant to ponder what you see in your dreams. Mary certainly did ponder … and she came up with Frankenstein the novel!
This is a stupendously illustrated picture book that will appeal to both adults and children. Even without having prior knowledge of the classic, you can follow everything well. The narration is not impressive. Honestly it’s as though the author was trying to be poetic or original but it came out very dry and humourless (not my kind of humour). Thank god the content itself blew my mind and made me not mind the writing as much because I did hope I would learn something from this book. And I did. Plus now I want to dig deeper and look at other authors’ stories of how they came up with the ideas behind their stories.
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