Midnight Fires: A Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft

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Still is here in the States, unfortunately. But I digress. Women had hope in the '70s after Roe vs. Wade; they had sexual freedom in the '60s and could divorce, though not without stigma. The s and s were liberating for women in the U. As much as we'd like to think that society can only become more enlightened, life doesn't work that way. As long as men make the laws, they hold the power to control us, our bodies, our finances, our freedom.


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But back to the book. We all read books through the lens of our own experience, so, for instance, I can relate to Mary's frustration with her ne'er-do-well or weaker siblings.

Mary Wollstonecraft

I could relate to her stubborn pride in not wanting to curtsy to the mistress of the house. I don't think I would have had the foresight, however, to figure out the mystery, or have the pluck to negotiate a deal with Lord Kingsborough. This book has definitely whetted my interest in Mary Wollstonecraft as a person and I will now look for her books and for biographies.

One last note: I take issue with one reviewer here who wrote that Mary Wollstonecraft looked down on the lower classes; she did no such thing--at least not in this book, and I don't understand how the reader could have come to such a conclusion unless she read only one page at random and read it out of context. Nor do all women enjoy the rights women have here and in other industrialized nations. Jun 16, Lisa rated it liked it. This only grabbed my interest moderately. It wasn't all that suspenseful, but the inclusion of Mary Wollstonecraft as the main character piqued my interest.

I enjoyed the historical backdrop and the details of daily living at the time, but the action was somewhat meh even though it included murder, deceit, and subterfuge. Had I expected more of a literary short novel than a mystery, my review might be more generous. Aug 25, Elizabeth Jemar rated it it was ok. This is not your typical mystery. Mary didn't solve anything. People simply told her their secrets. There was no evidence to support who did it.

The last few chapters divulged surprise after surprise. Expect the unexpected. May 10, Cathy Cole rated it really liked it. First Line: The crossing from Holyhead to Dublin had been relatively calm, but just as the Irish coast came into view, a contrary wind blew up. To her, it is humiliating-- a fate most devoutly not to be desired. But with debts to pay and a pack of siblings who constantly turn to her as a source of money, she has no other option. She wants to work out the year she First Line: The crossing from Holyhead to Dublin had been relatively calm, but just as the Irish coast came into view, a contrary wind blew up.

She wants to work out the year she contracted for, to avoid having anyone find out just how much she lied about her qualifications, and to keep out of castle politics by writing a novel. Mary lives to write. She doesn't even get off the ship before something happens. A young Irish sailor who'd just given her a letter to deliver to someone falls overboard and drowns. Mary could swear that she caught a glimpse of a knife-wielding man standing by the young Irishman, but with the weather being so foul, she must be mistaken.

Life at Mitchelstown Castle is not easy. The oldest daughter can't stand Mary at first, and the unhappy, self-centered Lady Kingsborough finds the proud and stubborn Mary difficult to deal with. When two more people at the caste die, Mary believes those two deaths tie into the death of the sailor, and she won't rest until she finds justice for all three.

At first I found Mary a bit of a handful myself. She is a very passionate young female who has a tendency to eye all the available young men in her vicinity. She spends so much time on visiting the nearby cottagers as well as on her investigation that I wondered where she found the time to teach those young girls anything, but she manages to get everything done.

Mary's ability to get right up the noses of those aristocrats dancing attendance on Lord and Lady Kingsborough endeared her to me. As for solving the mystery before Mary? Not a chance! The list of suspects was so long that I just buckled up and enjoyed the journey. Wright does an excellent job of depicting the people and the era in which they live.

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Having known a few things about Wollstonecraft besides the fact that she's the mother of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein , I liked how the author used the facts to create a lively, engaging character that I hope will take center stage in many mysteries to come. May 30, Patricia rated it liked it. The crossing by sea from Holyhead to Dublin proved to be calm for Mary Wollstonecraft for the most part but a wind came up and blew her hat away.

A young sailor rescued the hat and Mary discovered the sailor had been to the colonies and been able to purchase a small piece of land and hoped to return to the colonies with the woman who was waiting for him in Ireland. That dream would never come true for the sailor for shortly after talking to him Mary witnessed his body pitching overboard.

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However The crossing by sea from Holyhead to Dublin proved to be calm for Mary Wollstonecraft for the most part but a wind came up and blew her hat away. However, the sailor had managed to pass Mary a note and whisper to her to deliver the note to Liam in Mitchelstown.

Episode #065 ... Mary Wollstonecraft

The year is and Mary was not happy about her new position. Family problems and debts had forced Mary into accepting the position.


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  • Mary was independent and had written a book soon to be published. The fact that she had authored a book gave her a bit of status in the castle. Mary hoped that her time as governess would pass quickly. After making discreet inquiries, Mary learned that Liam did live near the castle and one of the servants agreed to put Mary in touch with him so the note could be delivered. There was much turmoil and rebellion during this time and Mary seemed to wind up right in the middle of the turmoil.

    Midnight Fires takes the readers through the many adventures that Mary endured while living in the castle not the least of which is a murder and a suicide. Apr 06, Sally rated it it was ok.

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    I was excited when I received this book. I had read a few heavy novels and this was the stretch I needed. It was less than pages and a cozy. An intelligent and idealist women. Mary starts out on a boat from England to Ireland as she has accepted the post of a governess. On the boat she meets a young man who gives her a letter and then gets killed and tossed overboard she believ I was excited when I received this book. On the boat she meets a young man who gives her a letter and then gets killed and tossed overboard she believes.

    It was as if she had tried to make her Mary Wollstonecraft, and a poor study of Miss Marple at the same time with some Shakespeare to boot. Then we add another layer of the Irish and English war with crazy characters. The writing was jumping around for me as she used modern terms to describe details, a pet peeve of mine, that dilutes the flow of the story as it jerks me back to the present.

    Midnight Fires: A Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft (Paperback) | The Vermont Book Shop

    I had a hard time finishing the book and I described it as plowing through to the end. It did have promise at the beginning but never followed through. Aug 17, Deb rated it liked it. I didn't know anything about Mary Wollstonecraft when I read a review on this book.

    I Learned that she was a "feminist" back in the s and wrote books on women's rights.