Platypus or Platypii: The Naturalist’s Daughter by Tea Cooper

Platypus or Platypii: The Naturalist’s Daughter by Tea Cooper

the-naturalist-s-daughter-1Two times. Two women. And one really confusing animal.

Tea Cooper’s newest exploration into historical fiction gives us the beautifully poignant The Naturalist’s Daughter. If you thought there couldn’t be a whole novel written about the platypus, think again. The strange Australian creature sparked the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century – the classification of the platypus. The Naturalist’s Daughter isn’t all dry science, though. It’s more than that – it’s about two women from two times, connected through one woman’s act of kindness, and sparking an investigation into a sketchbook that might just shake what people thought they knew…

The novel spans two time frames, skipping elegantly back into the past. In 1808, Agnes Banks, NSW, Rose Winton spends her days by the banks of the river with her father, esteemed naturalist Charles Winton. They have an incredibly close relationship, spending their time watching for the slightest ripple of water that might indicate a closeby platypus. Charles Winton has dedicated himself to the study of the strange animal, and Rose, in her childhood adoration of her father, helps him day after day, sketching and taking notes.

Jump forward to 1908, where Tamsin Alleyn works hard at the Public Library of New South Wales. She’s preparing for an opening exhibition, when they get the call from the Hunter Valley. An old sketchbook has turned up in the home of a widow, and it seems like it could be very valuable. It’s to do with Charles Winton, and Tamsin goes immediately, only to find that the widow has died just a day before she arrives.

Who Tamsin does find, however, is Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer. There’s attraction between the two instantly, but Tamsin becomes more and more suspicious of his intentions towards both her and the sketchbook. He seems to be less than forthcoming on what he wants to do with the sketchbook, but Tamsin reluctantly works with him to find out the mysteries of the sketchbook…

The deeper they delve, the more confused they get – it’s clear that the sketchbook holds the key to unlocking one of science’s major controversies, but new discoveries rise up from the past with irrevocable consequences…

1606The Naturalist’s Daughter is heartwarming and emotional, blending historical fiction with mystery. Add to that two women, Rose and Tamsin, who are incredibly strong willed and powerful, determined for their gender not to hold them back. Cooper does a great job of depicting Indigenous life at that time, clearly well researched. The Naturalist’s Daughter is perfect for fans of The Birdman’s Wife and Remarkable Creatures, and will leave you desperate for Cooper’s next book.

About the Author

Tea Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, just outside the time-warp village of Wollombi, NSW Australia. When she isn’t writing, Tea can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who provide her with a never-ending source of inspiration.

Grab a copy here and read Tea’s article on the classification of the platypus

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                      Publisher details

                      The Naturalist's Daughter
                      Author
                      Tea Cooper
                      Publisher
                      Harlequin
                      Genre
                      Fiction
                      Released
                      18 December, 2017

                      Synopsis

                      . . . surrounding the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century, the classification of the platypus.1808 Agnes Banks, NSWRose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. Not only does she love him with all her heart, but the discoveries they have made could turn the scientific world on its head. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rose must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.1908 Sydney, NSW Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debateable value, gifted to the Mitchell Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more to the book than meets the eye, and more than one interested party. Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer, seems to have his own agenda when it comes to the book but Tamsin decides to work with him to try and discover the book’s true provenance. The deeper they delve, the more intricate the mystery becomes.As the lives of two women a century apart converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences…About the author 

                      Tea always knew one day she would write a novel. It all began with a rather risqué story in the back of an exercise book at boarding school featuring the long suffering gardener- not really the ideal romantic hero but it was before she knew any better. Life and a few real heroes showed her the error of her ways and with a husband, a baby tucked under one arm and a half built house she entered a Mills and Boon writing competition. To her earth shattering amazement she won second place - the prize was a bottle of perfume. Next time she was determined to do better.Writing remained the stuff of fantasy. Her family, a herd of alpacas, a protea farm and a full time teaching job intervened until one day she decided it was time to do or die. No more procrastination. The characters and plots that had lived in her head for so long were clamouring to escape. In August 2011 Tea joined Romance Writers of Australia and her debut novel Tree Change was published as an ebook in November 2012. She has since written several other Australian rural stories both contemporary and historical. Her historical novels are published by Harlequin Enterprises (Australia).Tea is also a member of Hunter Romance Writers, the Australian Romance Readers Association and Wollombi's Pencil Orchids.

                      Tea Cooper
                      About the author

                      Tea Cooper

                      Tea Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, just outside the time-warp village of Wollombi, NSW Australia. When she isn't writing, Tea can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who provide her with a never-ending source of inspiration.

                      Books by Tea Cooper

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