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The Nature of Monsters Hardcover – Apr 6 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 6 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151012067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151012060
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,539,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. British author Clark's second novel, a moving historical set in early 18th-century London, surpasses her acclaimed debut, The Great Stink (2005). When teenager Eliza Tally gets pregnant, her mother sells her into servitude to an apothecary, Grayson Black. Eliza struggles to survive in a bizarre household, unaware that her new master is interested in the effects of various emotions on her unborn child. Isolated save for a kindly, slow-witted fellow servant, Mary, Eliza develops an unlikely relationship with a French bookseller, Mr. Honfleur, who supplies Black with the scientific treatises he uses to inform his sadistic researches. Eliza hopes Honfleur will provide her with the means for escape. Unlike The Great Stink, this suspenseful tale contains no whodunit element, but as in her previous book, Clark's empathetic portrait of the powerless and the victimized will remind many readers of Dickens. Author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Clark is a first-rate storyteller. The setting is 18th-century London, a dark and unwelcoming city of massive size. Eliza Tally, pregnant and unmarried, has been sent there by her mother to begin service as a maid for apothecary Grayson Black. His shop is managed by Mrs. Black, who holds an unyielding grip over all the affairs of the elusive man. Upon her arrival, Eliza meets Mary, the other servant, whom she finds annoying and bothersome at first. Eliza's new home sits in the shadow of the impressive landmark of St. Paul's Cathedral, and the young woman becomes readers' eyes and ears as she vividly conveys the sights and sounds of the city's bustling life. She is disturbed by the changes in her body as the baby within her grows. At the same time, she discovers that all is not right with the mysterious apothecary and his ever-vigilant wife. His interests in her and her condition make her increasingly uncomfortable as she perceives that she is somehow an unwitting party to his secrets, and she and Mary come to rely on one another for warmth and companionship. Ultimately, Eliza learns that monsters can take many forms, and that human behavior is oftentimes most fearsome. The novel's well-described setting and its well-realized themes of unplanned pregnancy and exploited female labor will engage teen readers.–Catherine Gilbride, Farifax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.6 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
4.0 out of 5 starsEngrossing and horrifying.
January 21, 2013 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
Kathleen M. Newman
5.0 out of 5 starsMonsters come in all shapes and sizes
October 6, 2012 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
Tara Cope
3.0 out of 5 starsWorth reading - once.
February 23, 2011 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
Patricia K. Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 starsSo glad I don't live in London 1714
August 30, 2014 - Published on
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5.0 out of 5 starsReally liked it.
February 25, 2015 - Published on
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