It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman's path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different - and elusive - goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.
And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah's standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.
Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.
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"From the main streets of Nantucket to its dunes and shores, from a Harvard observatory to the cities of Europe, Hannah's emotional and professional journey will please fans of feminist-minded and romantic historical fiction." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Probing yet accessible, beautifully written and richly characterized: fine work from a writer to watch." - Kirkus
"In Hannah, Amy Brill has fashioned an extraordinary character and quiet hero - a woman who charts her own course, and who places knowledge and her own soul's independence up with the highest, brightest stars. Nineteenth century Nantucket feels pressing and wholly vivid in this novel, and the love story at its heart blazes with real feeling and intensity. A terrifically poised and captivating debut." - Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
"A spectacular debut. Amy Brill skillfully combines a forbidden love story, the struggle for women's rights, and early scientific exploration of the heavens. I cheered for Hannah Price, our feisty heroine, as she unraveled the mystery of her own desires while burning a trail for other women to follow." - Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
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Amy Brill is a writer and producer who has worked for PBS and MTV, and has been awarded fellowships by the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Millay Colony, and the American Antiquarian Society, among others. This is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn.
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