The Movement of Stars is a mesmerising novel by debut author Amy Brill. It is set in the Quaker community of Nantucket and begins in 1845.
Hannah Gardner Price has lived for her whole life in Nantucket. Her passion is astronomy and lives for her research on the stars. Hannah is a really unusual and dynamic heroine, who throws herself into a discipline which would have been virtually unheard of for women at the time. Hannah lives with her father Nathaniel in this very tight, religious community. She does not seem to have many friends and spends her days working at the library and waiting for news from her twin brother Edward.
The story starts off gently and soon picks up pace, I felt that this gentle speed allowed me to get to know Hannah as a character. Hannah starts to teach Isaac Martin, a black whaler stranded in Nantucket, lessons in astronomy and soon finds herself falling for him. However, theirs is a love that seems destined to be forbidden. Despite their hugely different circumstances, both Isaac and Hannah have very similar ideals and only want to create better and more equal lives for themselves.
Amy Brill has cleverly constructed a beautiful love story that is set against a backdrop of prejudice, hope and change. The setting of Nantucket is really brought to life and the book itself seems to be impeccably researched.
This is a captivating novel that I found my self completely enthralled by. I was fascinated to read that it was loosely based on the life of astronomer Maria Mitchell and I look forward to reading more by this author. I love the cover of this book too.
Thank you to Penguin for sending me a copy to review.