The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter by John Pipkin

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“Nothing in heaven or earth is content to be alone, and so there must always be something more.”

‘She has come into her life with the randomness of a comet, but it is no ill fortune that she brings, and he will keep the world at a distance so that no random harm befalls her.” Of course we know, no matter how fragile our loved ones are, we cannot contain their life in a manner than hides them from harm. Despite her damaged arm, Caroline grows up and becomes her father’s assistant. When Caroline’s adoptive father Arthur Ainsworth takes his own life after watching his labor seemingly come to nothing as others surpass him, she is left with his work and his hunger. But she is also a woman of passion for the blacksmith’s son.
She falls in love with Finnegan O’Siodha, connected to her heart as much as the stars are connected to the heavens. But her father left her with a madness, a madness to know more about the sky, still the madness of love beckons. Finnegan had helped her father build his telescope but war has come and with it has swept him from her dreams and arms. Finn cannot let go his love for her either, regardless of the danger he finds himself in as Ireland swirls with violence. Leaving for London to find him, she discovers more than stars in the sky and collects more losses. Forging on, she is still clinging to hope that Finn will return to her, that they will have a life full of children. She ventures out into the world her father wanted to protect her from. There will be heartbreak, and she will have to adjust to everything that has changed. This is for anyone that loves historical fiction, and while there is a love story it isn’t just one between a man and woman. It is a love story of one’s passions.
In the end, it may take another to pull her out of her loss and urge her to return to her life’s work. “They are an unlikely pair, mismatched travelers, but there is no accounting for the forces that throw people together.” Much like the discoveries above, life too has endless possibilities. The early mapping of the solar system is fascinating, and the building of telescopes so very intricate a process. This is a hard book to review for me because it is full of historical events and while it is also about love and relationships it is not what I would call a romance. There is a lot I don’t know about how people got their start studying the solar system,  it is far more interesting than I ever considered.
Really enjoyed it.

Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date October 11, 2016

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