Cover Image: Love and Fury

Love and Fury

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Member Reviews

Audiobook narrated by Ell Potter which I can only say did a beautiful job telling me this story. 
I’ve started writing this review a dozen times only to try again because I can’t possibly do it justice. I knew absolutely nothing about Mary Wollstonecraft. Her bravery, talent and love. Her cruel childhood, her writings. She’s one of the first women to fight for equal rights. 
She saw injustice at a very young age. She knew many marriages were slavery for women. And that women had no rights, money or power during her life. 
It was breathtaking to read this, a prose that flowed seamlessly, wonderfully detailed observations. I couldn’t put it down. 
I’m not going to say anymore except that I highly recommend it. It’s a must read. 
Thanks Macmillan Audio, Allison & Busby via Netgalley.
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Seen this advertised and was desperate to get my hands on a copy!

Wow it did not let me down! A truly magical  book. A very different angle to the usual stories about Mary and really well written. Certainly a page turner. The story weaves between timelines and gives a completely different insight to anything on this historical icon I had read before. Absolutely beautiful  couldn.t put it down. Fully recommend!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Love and Fury is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. While the life and writings of Mary Wollstonecraft are well known, Samantha Silva dove into Mary's history and brought it to life. Following Mary Wollstonecraft's life, it is told as remembrances of a dying woman who has finally come to know happiness. 

Each page was filled with emotion and the way that the story was told allowed the reader to contrast the desperate yearning of Mary's youth with the tranquil happiness she came to know. There is much of Mary's life that resonates today. Her fears and hopes, love and rage at the confines of her life were exquisitely written and brought me to tears. 

This is a fantastic novel, full of beautiful sadness and love. I recommend this book to any lovers of historical work, as well as those who want to read a story of a life well lived.
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This was a 5 star read for me, I found it impossible to put down , totally immersed in the life of Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of Vindication Of The Rights Of Women and mother of Mary Shelley. 
The book opens with a midwife, Mrs Blenkinsop, arriving at the house of Mary and William Godwin. Mary is not worried as she already has one daughter, Fanny, but of course we know that she will die. 
The book alternates between two points of view, Mrs B and Mary W. The Mary chapters are in the form of a story to her newborn, the story of her life.
The birth story particularly when the doctors are called is horrifying. Unwashed hands inside her to remove the placenta! I could barely look.
It’s incredibly moving how the book has been written. This amazing woman in a world where women were barely educated, expected to marry and not respected. Reading about her life in this way was so well done. I loved the character of Mrs B, a representative of female knowledge and experience in a way, compared to the male doctors. 
The ending isn’t perfect, Silva doesn’t go into how Godwin and Mary’s relationship developed but it’s still a superb and emotional read.
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If you want to know about Mary Wollstonecraft's life then this is a great way to find out. The follows Mary on the day she gives birth to the daughter who will become Mary Shelley and on the follwing days as Mary battles with puperal fever and her daughter "Little bird" also clings tenuously to life. Mary speaks to "her little bird" recounting the story of her life in a series of flashbacks. I already knoew quite a lot about her life, so no surprises for me, the book is a "fictionalised" account so some  artistic license has to be allowed for. I enjoyed this book but the prose didn't "sing" for me. It felt quite didactic. It's well worth reading but didn't win my heart.
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A really beautiful book about Mary Wollstonecraft. She comes across as a great character and very loyal to her family and friends. It was such a shame that her love for others didn't extend to herself and heartbreaking that she died just when she was truly happy. 
I think that the book could have been longer as the last quarter or so does feel a bit rushed and I would have loved to have learned how her relationship with Godwin developed.
I didn't know a lot about Mary before reading this and didn't realise what an interesting life she had led. I really hope the book gets the credit it deserves and would love to see the book made into a film or even better a TV series.
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"Fuseli raised his glass. "Well, I for one hate clever women. They're only troublesome." "Here's to troublesome women! May they long live," said Darwin, raising his tumbler over the candles. Johnson joined in, quoting from my novel. "'Her joys, her ecstasies, arose from genius.' Like our Mary. The best troublesome woman I know."

And troublesome she was! Thank fuck for that, or else I'm not sure where we'd be on this #internationalwomensday 2021.

Mary Wollstonecraft has come to feel a bit like a friend to me now after having read about her life's work and legacy twice within six months, and I absolutely loved once again getting to relive her quite turbulent and rebellious - if short, life. It simply amazes me how many times she picked herself up and dusted herself off after being knocked down by her family, her sex, the patriarchal structures that governed her, revolution, love, and death until she passed at the unripe age of 38 in the aftermath of giving birth to Mary Shelley. If only she could know what she left behind and what her sacrifices and willpower would come to mean for women throughout history.

In comparison to Romantic Outlaws, Love and Fury did come across as quite abrupt and condensed given that it focused solely on the life of Wollstonecraft. However, it was immensely touching how she kept addressing Shelley in the narrative throughout as the reader knows that fate will prevent them from ever knowing one another. I also loved getting to experience those last heart-wrenching days through the eyes of midwife Mrs. Blenkinsop who really adds something special to the equation towards the end.

I loved this book and I love Mary Wollstonecraft and I miss reading about her already. If you read #romanticoutlaws by #charlottegordon and enjoyed it, you have to read Love and Fury by Samanta Silva, and vice versa. You have to. I'm biased, but this was so good. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

I don't like saying happy international women's day, but this feels like the most perfect book to post about today. Let's keep fighting Mary's fight and let's never stop. 💪

Thank you @allisonandbusby for this e-ARC! 🙏❤
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One of the few things I knew about Mary Wollstonecraft was that she died just after giving birth to her daughter Mary (author of Frankenstein.) Hence the prospect of reading a book focusing on the birth of this baby filled me with some doubt, as there was little suspense about the ending. But having gradually set the scene with the arrival of the midwife, through whose eyes all the 'framing structure' scenes are shown, Silva moves into Wollstonecraft's voice while (as if telling her life story to the baby Mary) she recalls her life from childhood in Yorkshire through being a governess in Ireland, a star of literary London, a reckless traveller to France at the height of the French revolution, a businesswoman on a mission to Norway and so many more roles. Wollstonecraft leaps off the page in a way I have not seen since I read that great biographical romance, Katherine by Anya Seton. Her thoughts and intense perceptions are described with psychological acuteness. Dialogue is effortless, always believable and yet progressing the plot and revealing of characters. 'My heroine would have thinking powers. And not be governed by fear,' says Wollstonecraft. When asked, 'No weeping and sighing then?' she answers, 'Just enough. As I weep and sigh. Just enough.'
It is interesting that William Godwin's appearances, from Wollstonecraft's point of view, are very brief: we see more of him in the midwife's story. I was reminded of so many great and popular works of art - ranging from Wuthering Heights to the Sound of Music, and was so sorry when I reached the end of the book - an ending which manages to be positive and uplifting.
I can personally can hardly fault this book though I spotted a few small problems (which may be rectified before publication). There are Americanisms such as 'out back' for 'at the back' and 'race track' for 'racecourse'. There is some anachronistic language, words such as Tsunami. Occasional sentences are not as polished as the rest, eg, 'Soon we were tete a tete as soon as we came together.' The geographical locations are left a bit vague because the English counties are not mentioned - it would not be a case of ' Hoxton' but a 'Middlesex village called Hoxton' and the same for Braintree (Essex.) There is an odd reference to someone having had the same pair of shoes for 20 years: I didn't feel this would have been worthy of note in the period. (I have had at least one of my pairs for this long, and in those days, I am sure shoe repairs were easier to come by. )
However these are very minor. I found this a great read, funny, moving, true to life and a fascinating account of a historical figure about whom I will now want to learn much more. It is remarkable that it is only Silva's second novel, though as a screenwriter she has the knack of economical scene-setting and creating action that brings scenes and people to such vivid life.
Very strongly recommended.
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A truly beautiful book. A very different angle to the use academia stuff about Mary and really well written. The story weaves between timelines and ages and gives a completely different insight to anything in this time period and on this historical icon before. Absolutely gorgeous, couldn.t put it down.
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