Friday, November 11, 2016

The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

The Taxidermist's Daughter is a novel about storytelling. Connie Gifford finds herself among storytellers. Her suitor, Mr. Woolston, asks her questions about her father and a mysterious figure, Cassie, in a critical scene. 

Connie says of her father, "Although I called him a taxidermist, he himself would use the old terminology. A stuffer of birds is how he would introduce himself. He thought 'taxidermist' was too fancy...it took away from what he was doing...[t]elling stories."

Mr. Woolston identifies with this, since he, too, is an artist and storyteller.

Harry tells Connie, "When I'm working on a portrait, I'm always thinking about everything that made my sitter the person they are, not just what's visible on the canvas."

"That's it," Connie replied. "It's the sense that if the bird--jackdaw, magpie, rook...could talk, it would tell you its life story."

Unfortunately, Connie doesn't know her own story. She doesn't remember the older woman who cared for her or the person who taught her poetry as a child. She remembers hitting her head, an "accident" that no one talks about.

A secret group, the Corvid Club, has committed a heinous crime.
Many lives have been ruined by the actions of the Corvid Club.
That's why Connie Gifford desperately needs to illuminate the darkness. She needs know her own story, one that is riddled with "vanished days."