Friday, May 22, 2020

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

A Mosaic of Wings
Welcome!  Another week is almost at an end.  This month is just flying by so quickly.  The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle comes out June 2 along with Deadly Sweet Tooth by Kaye George, Amish Generations by Kathleen Fuller, and The Way of Love by Tracie Peterson.  Which book are you eager to read first?
Antique Insect Collectors Cabinet--Nora inherited her father's
A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy has Nora Shipley getting ready to graduate from Cornell University with her bachelor’s degree in entomology in May of 1885 in Ithaca, New York.  Nora spent the inheritance she received from her father on her education.  She would like to pursue her master’s degree and take over her father’s publication, The Journal of Eastern Flora & Fauna.  To achieve these goals, Nora must win a scholarship that is not awarded on grades alone.  Nora’s mentor encourages her to join an expedition in Kodaikanal, India.  Nora is joined by her college rival, Owen Epps.  She is fascinated with India but disappointed with the team leader, Mr. Frederic Alford who keeps her confined to camp doing illustrations for the butterflies the team catches.  Nora makes friends with Sita, their cook’s niece.  She learns that the twelve-year-old will soon be sent to the temple of Yellamma because of a promise her father made where she will be forced into doing something unconscionable.  Nora wants to help Sita even though she has been told to stay out of local affairs.  If Nora pursues this quest, she is putting her career and so much more at risk.  
:) Pinning insects.
A Mosaic of Wings is Kimberly Duffy’s debut novel.  I have mixed feelings about this story.  I liked some parts of it, while others I did not.  Nora Shipley had a wonderful, encouraging father until he passed when she was fifteen in a tragic accident.  It is something that Nora cannot forget.  She feels responsible and wants to prove herself by taking over her father’s esteemed publication, The Journal of Eastern Flora & Fauna.  It has been run by her stepfather, Lucius Ward who seems to be taking the journal in a different direction much to Nora’s dismay.  Lucius has certain ideas about women (it is 1885) and they do not include a woman pursuing a higher education or running a magazine.  He wants Nora to meet a colleague and consider marriage.  Part one of A Mosaic of Wings has some sections that I found upsetting.  I know there were many men like Lucius in the world during this time period, but I do not like to read about their bullying ways.  There was also quite a bit of repetition that I wish had been eliminated.  Part Two has Nora and Owen in India.    I enjoyed the author’s beautiful descriptions of India.  Ms. Duffy brought the country alive for me with her word imagery.  I was amazed at the many varieties of insects and I could relate to Nora’s disdain for cockroaches (awful creatures).  It was interesting learning how they preserved the specimens and studied them in their natural habitat.   I like how Nora took Sita under her wing.  Sita had such a good heart and quick mind.  I kept hoping her lot in life would change.  Nora could be frustrating at time as she got herself into one predicament after another.  She really did not help herself or the cause of women at times.  Nora had good thoughts and ideas, but she would forget that what she does impacts others.  Nora was a Christian who believes it is her duty to help another Christian.  I like some of her thought provoking questions and statements.  Owen was a positive man with an adventurous spirit and common sense.  I like that he supported and encouraged Nora.  When I finished this book, I had mixed thoughts.  There were some interesting sections, but I was not fond of the cliché characters, repetition, and domineering males.  I do think that A Mosaic of Wings is a good start for Kimberly Duffy.  I am curious to see what this author creates next.  A Mosaic of Wings shows the challenges a woman endures when she pursues her passion for entomology despite opposition and expectations of others.
Halloween curio cabinet inspiration~Museum Quality Insects Collection - Insects and Butterflies
The Mosaic of Wings is available from Amazon*.  You can find other seller links here.  Thank you for reading my review.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  It is the 3rd novel in American Heiresses series.  I can always count on this author's book to make me laugh.  I hope you have a lovely day.  Take care of yourself, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Albert Edelfelt - Woman and Parasol - Albert Edelfelt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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