It's 1885, and all Nora Shipley wants, now that she's graduating from Cornell University as valedictorian of the entomology program, is to follow in her late father's footsteps by getting her master's degree and taking over the scientific journal he started. The only way to uphold her father's legacy is to win a scholarship, so she joins a research expedition in Kodaikanal, India, to prove herself in the field.
India isn't what she expects, though, and neither is the rival classmate who accompanies her, Owen Epps. As her preconceptions of India--and of Owen--fall away, she finds both far more captivating than she expected. Forced by the expedition leader to stay at camp and illustrate exotic butterflies the men of the team find without her, Nora befriends Sita, a young Indian girl who has been dedicated to a goddess against her will.
In this spellbinding new land, Nora is soon faced with impossible choices--between saving Sita and saving her career, and between what she's always thought she wanted and the man she's come to love.
This is a hard book for me to review because it was beautifully written, and I loved the storyline. However, I found Nora to be extremely brash, and while she changes a little in the book, I still had a very hard time with the brashness. There are moments when she realizes her actions effect other people, but she still pushes on with no compromise (and at some points in the story that is a really good thing) or any thought to others. So while I sympathized with her and her goals, I just struggled with how she got there. It seemed like Own was the one that was always giving, and in the end he gives up everything for her and she gets it all. That doesn't seem like a very healthy relationship.
But the setting was beautiful! Both in Ithaca, New York and in India. It makes we want to visit both places. Oh but the bugs...the bugs! I'm not a bug person, they freak me out, and it made me smile that the author doesn't like them either, but wrote this for her daughter that wants to be an entomologist. Can you just picture her researching bugs while half covering her eyes at the things she's finding? I think that's really sweet.
So how do you review a novel that the main character isn't your favorite, but the rest of the book is awesome and well written? I don't know. I'll leave that up to you guys, because maybe her brashness won't bother you at all. If you read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Title: A Mosaic of Wings Author: Kimberly Duffy Publisher: Bethany House Published: May 2020 ISBN: 9780764235634 Source: I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.