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Natural History


by Andrea Barrett

Natural History by Andrea Barrett X
Natural History by Andrea Barrett
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  • Published Sep 2022
    208 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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  • Kiran S. (Milwaukee, WI)
    Nature and Human Character
    I really enjoyed this book. The six stories are set in a small community of central New York State. Stories relate to the natural word but human character and community are equally represented. There is a sustained beauty of prose and truth of human feelings. This is the first book by Andrea Barrett that I have read. I plan to read others.
  • Linda M. (Ocala, FL)
    Love of Nature Enhances Our Lives
    Natural History is a wonderful set of stories interweaving the lives of some of the characters who appear in Andrea Barrett's previous works. The time frame stretches from the civil war era to modern times and focuses on women, family relationships and the love of nature as well as an appreciation of science and the world around us. As the stories unfold we see the lasting impact that a teacher with an organized, curious mind can have on her students and family members. As the book moves through time, the reader can see how community and family expectations of women's roles in and outside the home evolve. Traditionally, many of the most talented teachers have been intelligent, very well-educated women who were unable to pursue advanced degrees or occupational advancement due to societal expectations. The main character, Henrietta, is such a woman. She leaves the university setting and returns home to a small town in Central New York where she influences many lives in her role as a teacher and as a mentor to her nieces and former students. Her love of science and experimentation lives on in the interests and occupational choices of future generations.
  • Laura D. (Newmarket, NH)
    Intertwined Short Stories
    I had not read any of the author's work prior to hearing about this book. Given that Natural History includes characters from prior stories, I decided to read Ship Fever and Servants of the Map first. I highly recommend reading these two other collections prior to reading Natural History. Having the back story on the characters enhanced my reading experience. The author's writing style is precise, with just the right balance of historical and scientific details contained in decidedly human stories. Unfortunately, "The Regimental History" did not appeal to me due to the subject matter. However, it was well written and is essential reading because it ties into the other stories. I am thrilled to have discovered this author!
  • Nancy E. (Sturgeon Bay, WI)
    Natural history
    This book will appeal to readers of history and those interested in nature. The stories cover the civil war and end during 2018.
    Throughout the years some of the characters endure and families intermingle. The stories and characters provide a kaleidoscope of American life and natural history during this stretch of time. The author's portrayal was a joy to read.
  • Cheryl J. (Pebble Beach, CA)
    What amazing Women
    I thoroughly loved the book, Natural History. I hadn't read anything by Andrea Barrett for 25 years, since "Ship Fever". I am so impressed with her latest, that I now plan to read all of her books. I just fell for Miss Henrietta Atkinson. What a personality. She fits right in during her early years, and is such a lovely auntie for her attention to each of her nieces. The various short stories all tie together, and through a progression of years, we grow to understand where her real passion is — which is teaching, As luck would have it, teaching may be in the family's blood.
  • Peggy H. (North East, PA)
    Interesting View of an Extraordinary Woman
    Natural History appears to follow, in some ways, the path of the author's previous book. It contains a number of short stories/novelas that ultimately are connected via a family tree. Each of the stories has a connection to Henrietta Atkins, an extraordinary woman, whose life did not turn out as she originally expected. The main theme to me is that life will take you on twists and turns that you could never anticipate; take your opportunities as they reveal themselves and relish them.
  • Carol F. (Lake Linden, MI)
    Nature Plus
    A beautifully written collection of stories that are about nature but more importantly about the women who are connected throughout the stories. These women are thoughtfully woven into the book which makes the discovery of the connections unexpected at times but always flawlessly written in.

    The first sentence just drew me in - a book of faded olive, not flashy, a silhouette of a crab on the cover. It made me want to dive right into this book.

    Sure this is a book about nature but more importantly it is about the women who are connected throughout the stories not just through nature but through family and life.

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